January 21, 2021 9:29 am
For many parents, the decision to send their child to daycare isn’t an easy one. It’s often filled with questions and some fears—including whether time spent in daycare may make their child sick.
There are hazards to be found in any setting, including daycares. The reality is that any time children spend time together, there’s an increased risk of illness.
Think about it this way: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all heard over and over again about the risk of viral particles spreading through our noses, eyes and mouths. Daycares are filled with little kids, many of them toddlers who will wipe their noses or rub their eyes and then touch objects around the room.
So, yes, there is a good chance your child may get sick in daycare. The good news is that in many cases, these so-called “daycare illnesses” can be treated efficiently with prompt medical care.
Here’s a look at a few of the most common daycare illnesses and the symptoms to watch for:
You’re probably somewhat familiar with pink eye, also known as “conjunctivitis.” This condition can be viral, bacterial or related to allergies.
Regardless of its case, pink eye causes some distinctive symptoms, including a gritty sensation in the affected eye, burning, itching, watery eyes, and the well-known “pink” or red color.
RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a common respiratory infection that occurs in people of all ages. While it’s usually harmless in adults, it can cause serious effects in small children, such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia.
RSV typically causes cold-like symptoms, including a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fever and wheezing. Infants may also experience irritability, decreased activity and difficulty breathing.
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
You’ve probably heard of this one. While hand, foot and mouth disease usually isn’t serious, it is incredibly contagious—and it’s very common for it to spread through schools and daycares.
Those with hand, foot, and mouth disease may experience a fever and flu-like symptoms, as well as mouth sores and a skin rash. While most children recover within seven to 10 days, the condition can be contagious for up to three weeks.
If you’ve ever had the condition, even the thought of lice may make your head itch! Head lice mainly live on the head and neck, and they usually lay the eggs in the hair.
They can’t fly, so lice primarily transmit through person-to-person contact. However, they can also be spread by sharing personal items, such as hairbrushes or hats. Once transmitted, they may cause a tickling sensation on the head, sores on the head from scratching and irritability.
If your child experiences any of these symptoms, it’s important to quickly schedule an appointment with a pediatrician.
This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center