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Keeping Your Family Healthy During Back-To-School Season

August 31, 2017

Back packs have been pulled out of closets, supply lists have been checked off, and school is officially back in session.

As kids settle into their back-to-school routines and bring home assignment sheets and stories of new friends they may unfortunately also be bringing home some other unwanted seasonal guests.

“Once kids start back to school we typically see an increase in visits,” says Kettering Physician Network pediatrician Krista Gelford, MD. “Common illnesses we see during this time of year can be caused by bacteria and viruses along with environmental factors.”

We’re sharing three of the most common fall ailments and ways to prevent them so you and your family can enjoy fall to the fullest.

  1. Hay Fever: Hay rides aren’t the only cornerstone of fall. Hay fever, also known as Seasonal Allergies or Rhinitis, can spike in the fall. Marked by sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and a runny nose approximately 40-60 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies are triggered by breathing in an allergy-causing substance like pet dander, dust, or pollen from trees, grass, or weeds. Ragweed and mold are two of the more common triggers in the fall. Your best bet at staving off seasonal allergies is to avoid exposure to them. Keep windows closed and don’t let allergy-prone children jump or play in leaves. If your child’s symptoms are persistent you can talk with your child’s pediatrician about taking an antihistamine or decongestant.
  2. Common Cold: Symptoms of the common cold include cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, minor body aches, and a low-grade fever. Symptoms usually appear 1-3 days after exposure to a virus. Many viruses cause the common cold but the rhinovirus is the most prevalent. When kids head back to school they are in closer contact with one another, creating a greater opportunity to share cold viruses and other germs. A cold virus can enter the body through the mouth, nose, or eyes. To prevent a cold avoid contact with those who have the cold as well as contaminated or commonly used objects. Tell your kids not to share utensils, glasses, toys, or other frequently held and used items. Finally, remind your whole family to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly to prevent spreading and contracting viruses.
  3. Flu: Influenza, also known as the flu, is a seasonal respiratory virus transmitted mainly by droplets when infected people cough, sneeze, or talk and others breathe in those droplets. The virus can also spread through objects that are shared like door handles, utensils, and toys. Influenza is characterized by fever, chills, sore throat, muscle and body aches, and fatigue. It typically takes 1-4 days for symptoms to appear after being exposed to the virus. Flu season typically runs October – March and the best ways to prevent the flu are to get a flu vaccine, practice good hand-washing and hygiene, and avoid those who already have the flu virus. Kettering Health Network offers flu vaccines at all family practice and pediatric locations.

Schedule Your Child’s Flu Shot

Kettering Physician Network Pediatrics provides expert family-centered medical care for children and young people from newborn to age 21.

To serve you and your better, we offer pediatric services at several convenient locations in the greater Dayton area.

Click here for a list of locations and call today to schedule your child’s flu shot.