Here we are again, back to school with all the germs, bacteria, and viruses, all mingling among your kids. As a parent, it is hard to fight it. All you can do is know what to look for and be prepared. Here are the most important contagious diseases to watch for this year.
Influenza Or Stomach Flu
Better known as the flu, this is a common problem almost every single year. It is very contagious, and bound to be nearby to pounce on your unsuspecting child. Different from the common cold which comes on gradually, the flu symptoms happen quickly.
Suddenly your child has the following symptoms: a cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, body aches, fever or chills, a headache, fatigue, and for the unlucky – vomiting and diarrhea. That’s the bad news. The good news is you can take your child and everyone in the family to get their flu shot. Even if you or your child succumbs to the flu, it will be a mild case.
The Common Cold
Rhinovirus and Adenovirus are viruses that cause the common cold. Just because they are “common” and usually mild in nature, don’t ignore the symptoms. They can lead to serious upper respiratory infections.
This serious virus is still with us, although it affects children much less than adults. There are so many symptoms, it can be hard to keep up. Watch out for any signs of the common cold plus the loss of taste or smell. Body aches and fatigue are signs your child should get a COVID test.
The Delta variant is especially contagious among children. For some specific ways to counter COVID this school year, read this article.
Once a very serious bacterial infection, scarlet fever is now easily treated with antibiotics. If your child gets a severe sore throat and a scarlet rash around the neck and face, contact PediatriCare of Northern Virginia for a course of antibiotics.
Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, is from virus and bacterial infections that easily spread from child to child and among family members. Eyes look pink, feel itchy, burn and tear. Eyes may also have a crusty coating.
If symptoms last more than a few days, call PediatriCare of Northern Virginia, especially if your child complains of pain, blurry vision, or sensitivity to light. Regular hand washing is the best way to protect you and your child from pink eye.
Live What You Have Learned
We have all learned how to protect ourselves from viruses in the last 18 months. Be a model for your kids by emphasizing washing their hands throughout the day, especially after being outside, before eating, after coughing or sneezing, and after going to the bathroom.
Teach them about coughing or sneezing into their arm, distancing, and wearing a mask when appropriate.