Schoolchild sneezing on the way home

Protect children from back-to-school illnesses

As children head back to school, the likelihood for them to get sick is apt to rise. At the start of this school year, physicians have seen stomach viruses and viral pharyngitis (the largest cause of sore throats).

“To keep your children healthy this school year, teach them good hand hygiene,” said Erin Bailey, MD, pediatrician at Medical Group of the Carolinas Pediatrics — North Grove. “Teach them to wash their hands prior to eating, after using the bathroom, after playing outdoors and after coming into contact with other sick children.”

As a parent, practice these habits at home and your child will follow the same habits when they are away from home. 

“Also, teach your child to sneeze into their elbow or a Kleenex rather than into their hands,” Dr. Bailey said.

Remember to keep your child’s vaccines up to date, including a yearly flu vaccine. Most offices will have flu vaccines available around the end of September or beginning of October. 

Be sure to get a vaccine for yourself, and if your child does become sick with a fever, keep them home from school until their fever is gone for 24 hours to avoid spreading infection to other children in the school.