5 Common Back-to-School Illnesses

Now that school is back in, so are stuffy noses and stomachaches. We talked to Dr. Mia Finkelston, who treats patients using LiveHealth Online to see what the top illnesses are for kids once they are back in school. 

1. Common colds (also called URI or Upper Respiratory Infections) are caused by viruses, which means there is no treatment. That said, there are lots of supportive measures you can take to make sure you recover fully. “Most people don’t know that a common cold can last up to 14 days. Shocking!” says Dr. Finkelston.  With a common cold, day 3 or 4 usually presents the worse symptoms (congestion, pressure, cough starts, while the fever may start to die down). But then slowly we regain our energy and can breathe better. A cough is often the last symptom to develop, but also the last to go away.

2. Strep throat is a something a doctor will need to test with a throat culture or a swab, which is the BEST way to know for sure. Typically, there is a sudden onset of high fever, often a headache or stomachache. There aren’t cough or cold symptoms when it comes to strep throat. The throat will look fire engine red and there may be puss on the tonsils. If you are living with someone with known strep, your risk may be higher too. 

3. Pink eye is often viral and may come along with a cold but children can’t resist rubbing their eyes and often can get a secondary bacterial component. 

4. Allergies can flare up in the new setting of school or in the fall depending on what may be the allergen.

5. Along with school sports comes aching joints and muscles. Be ready with understanding of what can be done at home to soothe your young athletes. At the same time, safety first. Be sure to share with your child the importance of sports safety before, during and after practice or a game.

Dr. Finkelston suggests getting the kids prepared with your family doctor by having an annual well visit.  She also suggests having a “sick kit” at home at the ready. If you or your child is feeling under the weather, they can always talk to a doctor using LiveHealth Online. Being registered and ready to sign on when you need a doctor is a great way to be ready for whatever comes your way this fall.

Comments and opinions from Dr. Mia Finkelston are hers alone. This is content from an interview and is not considered medical treatment.