Since kids tend to spend more time indoors in the fall and winter months, and younger children in particular tend to play closer together and share toys and other classroom items, infections are easily passed from one person to another.
As common as it is, the influenza virus is dangerous: It is responsible for thousands of death each year, and not all of those victims are among the high-risk populations. Teach kids to wash their hands properly and often, especially before eating and after using the bathroom. They should also be reminded to always wash their hands after sneezing or coughing. Kids should also use alcohol sanitizer in school, especially during cold and flu season. And remind kids to not share drinking cups or eating utensils at school.
Colds are usually caused by rhinoviruses, which are tiny infectious organisms that can live on surfaces for hours. These viruses can enter the lining of the nose and throat and multiply and grow, triggering an immune system response that causes sore throats, cough, headaches, and sneezing. Your child may also develop a stuffy or runny nose and mild fever. One of the most common ways colds are transmitted is when a child comes into contact with a cold virus and then touches her eyes or nose. Make sure your child washes her hands properly often, and remind her not to touch her eyes, nose, or mouth.
For any illness, call your pediatrician if you see any of the following symptoms:
– Difficulty breathing
– High fever (103 degrees or higher)
– No fever but acting ill
– Lack of appetite and refusing food that lasts for more than a couple of days