How long are kids sick when they start school?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

When kids start school, they are often exposed to a whole new environment filled with germs and viruses. As a result, it’s not uncommon for them to get sick more frequently in the beginning. The duration of illness can vary depending on the specific illness and the child’s immune system. However, it’s typical for kids to have symptoms lasting up to 14 days.

One common illness that kids often catch when they start school is the common cold. The cold is caused by a viral infection and can lead to symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, and sometimes a mild fever. For most kids, a cold will resolve within about a week or two. However, some symptoms like coughing can linger for up to six weeks, even after the initial infection has cleared.

Another common illness that can affect kids when they start school is the flu. Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. The duration of the flu can vary, but typically it lasts for about a week to 10 days. It’s important to note that the flu can be more severe than the common cold and may require medical attention, especially for young children.

Apart from the common cold and flu, there are various other illnesses that kids may encounter when starting school. These include stomach bugs, such as gastroenteritis, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The duration of stomach bugs can vary, but typically symptoms resolve within a few days to a week.

It’s important to keep in mind that kids who attend child care or start school may be more prone to illness due to increased exposure to germs. However, this exposure can also help strengthen their immune systems over time. While it may seem concerning that kids can be sick for a majority of the year, it’s actually considered normal and can contribute to the development of a healthy immune system.

When kids start school, they may experience more frequent illnesses, particularly in the beginning. The duration of illness can vary depending on the specific illness and the child’s immune system. It’s typical for symptoms to last up to 14 days, with coughs sometimes lingering for up to six weeks. However, this should not be a cause for alarm, as it is a normal part of a child’s immune system development.