Schools can be a breeding ground for germs, particularly during the cold and flu season. Young kids tend to wash their hands less than they should and sometimes forget to cover their mouths when they cough, which can spread bacteria and viruses. If your child comes home from school sick, you may feel overwhelmed at the thought of trying to determine what happened and how best to treat the illness. Here are some tips to help keep children from getting sick at school and take care of them if they do come down with something.
The nature of your child’s illness determines what kind of treatment he or she may need, but it can be tricky—or impossible—to determine that on your own. When the cause of an illness isn’t readily apparent, you can’t really know the best way to treat and help your little one feel better. Here are some things you should do if your child comes home from school sick.
Visit the Doctor
While it may be tempting to diagnose the issue yourself, consider taking your child to see a medical professional. This will ensure that he or she gets the best possible care and is able to recover. If you are unsure if your child has the flu, another viral infection, or a bacterial infection, take them to the nearest Urgency Room to get a professional opinion. If your child’s temperature repeatedly goes above 104 degrees and especially if there are other symptoms, such as a rash, trouble breathing, trouble waking, persistent vomiting or diarrhea, it is important to see a Dr. A viral infection won’t require medicine, but if your child has a bacterial infection, he or she may need antibiotics to clear it up. A doctor can provide a proper diagnosis, as well as a treatment plan that will help your little one get healthy and ready to head back to school.
Utilize At-Home Remedies
If your child ends up with a viral infection, which generally doesn’t require a prescription, here are some things you can do to help your child feel better while waiting for the infection to resolve itself.
Keep Your Child Hydrated
Make sure your child is drinking plenty of fluids. Proper hydration helps thin out thick mucus, soothes a sore throat, and replenishes fluids after a fever. Warm or cold liquids will both be beneficial, but avoid anything that has caffeine in it, as it can actually worsen dehydration. Chicken noodle soup is a great option for a meal because the broth provides hydration and is a safer option than solid food if your child’s stomach is upset.
Purify and Add Moisture to the Air
Dust particles and dry air can further irritate a sore throat or dry nose. Use an air purifier to keep the air inside your child’s room free of dust and other particles. And if your home is on the dry side, particularly during the winter, set a up a humidifier. These devices help put moisture back into the air, alleviating dry throats and noses, as well as helping to loosen up mucus.
Arguably one of the most important steps in overcoming the cold or flu is getting a proper night’s sleep. Quality sleep is crucial to fighting off an infection and recovering from illness.
Use Over-the-Counter Remedies
If your doctor says it’s okay, utilize over-the-counter cough medicine, child-safe pain and fever reducers, or saline nose sprays to help your child manage any unpleasant symptoms. This can help them get a better night’s sleep, as well, which will help them recover quicker.
Of course, there is no better remedy for a cold than preventing your child from coming down with one in the first place. Utilizing proper preventative measures will help to keep those cold and flu viruses at bay. Here are a few prevention tips that you should use to help keep your child from getting sick.
Wash Hands Frequently
Make sure your kids are washing their hands frequently, especially during the cold and flu season—this will help prevent the spreading of germs. Have them wash their hands before every meal and after they come home from school.
Eat a Proper Diet and Hydrate
Ensure your children are eating a proper diet full of vitamins and nutrients to help them strengthen their immune system and ward off illness. Eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, protein, and complex carbs is also essential to their overall growth and development. Add in plenty of fluids throughout the day to keep them hydrated!
Treat Your Child at the Urgency Room
If your child comes home sick from school, of course you want them to feel better as soon as possible. Head to the nearest Urgency Room to get them diagnosed and treated quickly and efficiently. We are open 365 days a year with three convenient locations in Eagan, Vadnais Heights, and Woodbury. Your child will be treated by board-certified emergency room physicians, who will create a treatment plan that can help him or her get back to school in no time.