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Back-to-School Health Alert: Keeping Your Child Protected from Common Illnesses

healthillnesschildrenschoolHealth & Wellness • 2 min read • Aug 13, 2014 12:00:00 AM • Written by: Kat Smith

Every year the pattern is the same; kids go back to school and almost immediately need to take sick days after catching a cold or stomach flu. While these highly common illnesses should be a concern, there are a few others that you might not even think about when you send your child back to school. When it comes to the basics like gastroenteritis or colds, skills such as regular hand washing, healthy eating, and proper hydration are essential for prevention. With the conditions discussed below, you may need to implement some other tactics to keep your little one healthy in the rush of the back to school season.

Head lice

Head lice might give you the heebie-jeebies, but it’s really not a big deal. The lice themselves are fairly harmless, and these days they probably won’t even get your child sent home in the middle of the school day. As long as you are using an FDA-approved lice treatment and regularly run a fine-toothed comb through your child’s hair, he or she should be fine in no time. Don’t be surprised though if your child brings home this unwelcome intruder – it’s almost impossible to keep head lice from spreading among young kids since they spend so much time in close contact with one another.


Another condition with a lot of hype that isn’t actually that dangerous is pinkeye, or conjunctivitis. It is very contagious, but there is a very low chance that it will cause any lasting damage. By the time you notice pinkeye, the only course of action is usually to wait until it clears up. Still, you should see a doctor to make sure the inflammation is not something more serious. Avoiding shared items and washing hands very frequently can minimize the risk of infecting someone else.

Sore throat

Sore throats are generally caused by viruses, which tend to clear up on their own. When the cause is a bacterial infection like strep throat, however, antibiotic medication will be needed to clear up the infection and prevent lasting damage. Therefore, it’s best to check in with the doctor to get to the cause of the soreness.


Unlike many other common childhood ailments, asthma is not caused by contagious viruses or bacteria. Still, this chronic disease is a leading cause of missed school days, and it may become aggravated by seasonal illnesses and airborne allergens. If your child has asthma, you will want to come up with an emergency response plan with the school nurse and encourage your child to stay active to keep symptoms at bay.

The back-to-school season can be hectic for parents, but MeMD can lend a helping hand with convenient online doctor visits and helpful health advice on our blog!

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Kat Smith