Let's face it: Children play a major role in spreading a lot of illnesses to each other and to their parents and siblings, who then spread them on to others.
As kids spend more time in close quarters together with school back in session, there are certain illness trends pediatricians see each September.
Here's a closer look at what's going to be going around in school around Metro Detroit.
The 'September surge'
Try as we might to stop them, germs travel fast in a classroom, and that's just one factor making kids sick. Each year, pediatricians typically see a "September surge" in four illnesses:
- Upper respiratory infection
- Stomach virus
- Pink eye
- Strep throat
Asthma flareups are also very common in the first weeks of school, especially if children also suffer from dust or ragweed allergies, or catch an upper respiratory infection, too.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease
Local doctors also report cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease popping up in school age kids and in younger siblings, too.
While flu season typically takes off later in the fall, positive flu tests have already been seen in Wayne and Oakland counties last week.
A lot of doctors are also treating a number of infected bug bites right now. Those are concerning with the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses.
Be sure your kids are wearing insect repellent when they're outdoors, especially in the evenings.
How to prevent illnesses
Handwashing is the best way to protect your kids from most back-to-school illnesses. Stressing good hygiene is important. Coughing and sneezing into your elbow helps, too, as does keeping sick kids home to stop the spread.
Also, teach your kids not to share, at least when it comes to food, beverages, lip balms, hats, and other items that can spread germs.
With flu season around the corner, it's also important to make plans to get a flu shot for everyone in your family.
The most recent guidelines say getting it by the end of October is best.