LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - School just started, and students are coming home with more than knowledge. Some are coming home with germs and are getting sick.
Dr. Jeremy Dalton is a physician at Covenant Medical Group.
Dalton says, "I think what is going around right now are viral illnesses, things like common colds. There has been some viral gastroenteritis, which are like tummy bugs. We've also been seeing some strep throat recently and have heard about a couple of cases of flu that I have not seen any of myself yet."
Kids in close proximity, like in classrooms, are at particular risk for sharing germs.
"Germs are spread very easily," Dalton says, "and infections are spread as well. That's why there's an uptick when school starts."
But generally, parents shouldn't be concerned unless the child is running a fever.
"If your child is ill with fever, I would definitely keep them home until they're fever-free for 24 hours." Dr. Dalton adds, "If a fever persists for longer than a couple of days I would probably have the child evaluated by their pediatrician."
Here are a few tips that Dr. Dalton suggests to help stop the spread of germs.
He says, "First thing is to make sure that your child is fully vaccinated. It's the end of August, most providers are going to be getting flu vaccines in the next few weeks, so make sure your child gets a flu vaccine. In addition to the vaccine, I think it's important that your child eats a healthy diet. So, lots of fruits and vegetables – which have antioxidants and other ingredients that can help fight infection."
Dr. Dalton says, "It's really important that they get plenty of sleep. It's hard when school first starts to switch from the summertime schedule to the school schedule because everybody has to go to bed early and get up early, but I think that's really important for fighting infection as well. Also, I think hand hygiene is important. So, make sure that they wash their hands before meals and after they go to the restroom after they get home from school I think is always a good idea."