Back To School Sickness
Children often get sicker when they go back to school due to several factors that increase their risk of contracting infections. Here are some common reasons:
1. Increased Exposure to Germs: Schools are environments where large numbers of students interact closely, leading to a higher likelihood of coming into contact with germs and infectious agents.
2. Less Time Spent Outdoors: During the summer break, children often spend more time outdoors where the risk of infection transmission is lower. When they return to school, they spend more time in enclosed spaces, increasing their exposure to germs.
3. Sharing of Germs: Children may share items like toys, books, and school supplies, which can easily transfer germs from one child to another.
4. Weaker Immune Systems: Children's immune systems are still developing, making them more susceptible to infections compared to adults.
5. Lack of Hand Hygiene: Not all children practice proper hand hygiene, and in a school setting, it can be challenging to monitor and enforce handwashing habits consistently.
6. Stress and Fatigue: The transition from vacation mode to a more demanding school routine can cause stress and fatigue, which can weaken the body's defenses against infections.
7. Seasonal Changes: The return to school often coincides with changes in weather and the start of the flu season.
8. Viral Spread: Certain viruses, such as the common cold and influenza, tend to spread more easily in crowded places like schools.
9. Incomplete Vaccination Coverage: Some children may not be fully vaccinated, leaving them vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases. Parents should check with their child's healthcare provider to make sure their student is up to date on vaccines.
10. Pre-existing Health Conditions: Children with pre-existing health conditions or weakened immune systems are more susceptible to infections.
If you or your child has the misfortune of getting sick this back-to-school season, you can count on JCHC Clinics and the JCHC Walk-in Clinic to get them back to the classroom.
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday | 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday | 8:00 a.m. – noon
Walk In Clinic
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday | 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Sunday | 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). Back to school: How to stay healthy. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/back-to-school-how-to-stay-healthy
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021). Keeping Kids Healthy at School. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/family/school/index.htm
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2020). Healthy Children: Back to School. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/school/Pages/Back-to-School-Tips.aspx
Lee, H., Park, H., & Park, K. (2018). The impact of school attendance and school absences on absenteeism and the common cold. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 517.
Poehling, K. A., Blocker, J., Ip, E. H., Peters, T. R., Wolfson, M. (2012). 2009–2010 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among College Students From 8 Universities in North Carolina. Journal of American College Health, 60(8), 541-547.