BECKLEY - It's back to school time, but some kids are headed back to the doctor's office.
Colds, runny noses and coughs are the most common illnesses kids get during the first few weeks of school, according to Dr. Stacey Dickenson of Access Health Pediatrics in Beckley. "Anytime you have them in smaller, contained groups, they're going to spread things - pass things back and forth more readily,” she explained.
Since germs spread quickly between students, kids should keep active and eat healthy so their bodies can better fight illnesses. "The main thing is the child to build their immune system to be stronger by eating a significant amount of fruits and vegetables a day, every day," Dr. Carlos Lucero of Beckley Neonatal Pediatrics said.
Kids should wash thoroughly wash their hands with warm water for 15 to 20 seconds before meals and after going to the bathroom. This helps prevent the spread of infection.
Students also should never share food and drinks, and avoid drinking from water fountains. "Young kids are not great about keeping their mouth off the drinking fountain and so that's a common place [where germs] are spread," said Dickenson.
If students are sick, pediatricians advise they stay home so their germs won't spread around the school. The average child has seven to ten colds per year.