Back-to-School Health 101:
Your Guide to Preventing Common Illnesses
The back-to-school buzz is in the air, and everyone is excited about the adventure ahead. As your little champs gear up to conquer new challenges at school, it’s wise to remember that the risk for certain illnesses increases this time of year due to close contact among children.
This guide to the most common back-to-school illnesses will help you understand the risks, spot the warning signs, and know when to visit our caring doctors. Remember, at RapidCare Emergency Room, we’re here to help you beat these health challenges!
Common Back to School Illnesses
The Common Cold and Flu
Consider colds and flu as uninvited guests. They arrive with symptoms like sneezing, runny noses, and coughs. While they may seem similar, the flu holds a higher rank among viruses, causing more severe illness compared to the mild inconvenience of colds. Promoting good hand hygiene, practicing proper sneezing etiquette, and considering flu vaccination all play a role in prevention.
Stomach Flu (Gastroenteritis)
Brace yourself for the stomach flu’s rollercoaster ride, complete with bouts of vomiting, diarrhea, and sporadic fever. It can leave you feeling drained and dehydrated. Encourage diligent handwashing before meals and limit communal sharing of food to prevent its spread.
Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
While this may sound like the latest Barbie eye trend, pink eye is a highly contagious infection. It brings along itchiness, redness, and excessive tearing. Ward off pink eye by avoiding eye touching and refraining from sharing personal items like towels or cosmetics. If your child’s eye turns pink, it’s time to consult a doctor.
Strep throat, the not-so-friendly throat gremlin, comes with its own set of symptoms – sore throat, fever, and sometimes even a rash. It’s like a party crasher in your throat’s neighborhood. Strep throat is most common in children 5 through 15, but this rowdy party can take hold of anyone.
It’s bacterial in nature, necessitating antibiotics for effective treatment. Educate your children about refraining from sharing utensils and cups to curtail its transmission.
This viral infection hosts an unwelcome party on your mouth, hands, and feet with the arrival of painful sores. Accompanying this are fever and sore throat. Although usually not severe, it can be a discomforting experience. Thorough handwashing and avoiding close contact with those afflicted are crucial for containment.
RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)
RSV might seem like your average cold but has a knack for escalating to breathing difficulties, particularly among infants and young children. Babies are especially vulnerable to severe respiratory infections caused by RSV. Embrace meticulous hygiene practices, especially around the young ones, to halt its propagation.
Head Lice Infestation
These tiny insects cause big trouble with their incessant itching. Head lice thrive in close contact situations, often in school settings. Regularly inspect your child’s scalp, and remind them to steer clear of sharing headgear or hair accessories to prevent an unwelcome lice infestation.
Impetigo introduces red sores that progress into crusty lesions on the skin’s surface. This highly transmissible infection predominantly targets young children. Practicing good wound care, avoiding skin-to-skin contact, and observing proper hygiene protocols play key roles in minimizing its occurrence.
Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono)
Commonly referred to as “mono,” this infection heralds fatigue, sore throat, and swollen glands. It’s transmitted through close contact such as sharing utensils or engaging in intimate contact. Adhering to impeccable hygiene practices and steering clear of close contact with those affected is paramount to minimizing its propagation.
Warning Signs to go to the Emergency Room
Although most ailments can be managed effectively, specific signs warrant immediate medical attention. Take your child to the emergency room immediately if they experience any of the following symptoms:
- High Fever: A persistent fever above 104°F (40°C) or fever accompanied by severe symptoms requires immediate evaluation by a medical professional. It could indicate an underlying serious infection.
- Breathing Troubles: Difficulty breathing necessitates prompt medical intervention, as it could signify asthma exacerbation, severe allergies, or a respiratory infection.
- Dehydration: Dehydration is a genuine concern in the face of dry mouth and sunken eyes. Swift action is needed, especially if your child is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea.
- Severe Abdominal Pains: Persistent or severe stomach pain should prompt medical attention, as it may denote a condition beyond a routine stomach ache.
- Altered Mental State: Confusion, disorientation, extreme irritability, or difficulty staying awake could signal a serious underlying issue that requires immediate attention.
At Rapid Care Emergency Room, our dedicated team is ready to provide swift and effective care when these warning signs arise. We prioritize the well-being of your child and are committed to ensuring a smooth recovery journey.
Where to Go When An Emergency Strikes
Rapid Care Emergency Room stands as a beacon of dependable pediatric care. Our skilled team and comforting environment are dedicated to ensuring your child’s journey to recovery is seamless. Let’s work together to overcome these temporary health challenges and foster a healthy school year ahead!
All RapidCare Emergency Room locations in La Porte, Katy, Missouri City/Sugar Land, and Conroe/Montgomery are open 24/7 every day of the year including holidays. We’re here to help you and your family get well fast!