How to keep your children healthy as the new term starts
Most children are preparing to head back to school. While this can come with a range of emotional upheavals and stresses, it also raises the chances of your child coming down with an illnesses that has circulated among their peer groups.
Along with the common colds that strike every autumn, parents also deal with letters from school warning of other infectious illnesses. “Upper respiratory infection such as coughs and cold are the most common,” says (med)24’s Dr Chiraush Patel. “Conjunctivitis and viral gastroenteritis can also spread quickly in schools.”
Public Health England (PHE) advise that four factors are responsible for schools containing common infections and transmission sites as children have, “immature immune systems” and are in close contact with each other. Sometimes they have no or incomplete vaccinations and "a poor understanding of hygiene practices.” PHE also warn that, “many diseases can spread before the individual shows any symptoms (during the infectious period). For example a pupil with chickenpox is infectious 1 to 2 days before the rash appears.” Most common transmission routes are respiratory (i.e. through coughing), direct contact, or gastrointestinal (i.e. via infected food). PHE advises that the strongest frontline weapons against infection are immunisation, regular handwashing among children and good sneezing/coughing hygiene.
“It is important to take a holistic approach when it comes to maintaining immune function, which requires lifestyle optimization,” says Dr Patel. “Outdoor exercise, a healthy diet and in-person social interaction are key to maintaining this. Regular sun exposure boosts immunity, and it is recommended that children take daily vitamin D supplementation at age specific doses.”
However, no system is fool proof and if your child gets sick, your (med)24 Household Membership Plan covers their wellbeing. Our GPs are able to deal with a multitude of common issues such as, coughs, colds and flu, ear infections, minor cuts and bumps, gastric and bladder conditions, glandular fever and much more.
We also supply a full programme of vaccinations and immunisations from ages 2 months plus. Our services are designed to ensure that your child is dealt with as quickly and comfortably as possible. “All our clinicians are able to assess the specific needs of the child,” says Dr Patel, "and thus provide comprehensive and individualised care to the child and their families.”
For more information on our family services and to contact our team, click here.