What time of year do kids get sick the most?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

As a pediatrician, I can tell you that kids tend to get sick the most during the fall and winter months, which typically span from October through April. There are several reasons why this is the case.

1. Weather: During the colder months, the weather becomes colder and drier. This can lead to dryness in the nasal passages and throat, making it easier for viruses to enter the body and cause infections. Additionally, cold weather often means people spend more time indoors, which can increase the spread of germs.

2. Indoor activities: With the colder weather, children tend to spend more time indoors, whether it’s at school, daycare, or other indoor activities. Being in close proximity to other children increases the risk of spreading viruses and bacteria.

3. Viruses: Many viruses that cause illnesses, such as the common cold and influenza, thrive in colder temperatures. These viruses can be easily spread through respiratory droplets when children cough, sneeze, or even talk. Close contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces can also spread these viruses.

4. Weakened immune system: The change in temperature and exposure to different environments can weaken a child’s immune system, making them more susceptible to infections. Additionally, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and stress can also contribute to a weakened immune system.

It’s important to note that while children are more prone to illness during these months, they can still get sick at any time of the year. Good hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when sick, can help reduce the spread of illnesses.

As a parent, it can be frustrating and worrisome when your child is frequently sick. It’s important to remember that it’s normal for children to have several colds or infections during the year as their immune system is still developing. However, if you feel that your child is constantly sick or if their illnesses are severe or persistent, it’s best to consult with a pediatrician to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

In my experience as a pediatrician, I have seen many children who seem to catch every bug that goes around during the fall and winter months. It can be challenging for both the child and the parents to deal with frequent illnesses. However, with proper hygiene practices, a healthy lifestyle, and regular check-ups with a pediatrician, you can help minimize the impact of these illnesses on your child’s health.