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NBC4: Avoiding back to school sickness

Summer break is over and school bells are ringing. Now that children are back in close quarters as the school year kicks off, doctors are starting to see sick students.

“Certainly, we’re going to see when kids are going back to a confined space after being out for the summer and they are all together they’re sharing things, sharing desks then they are going to get more sick,” Glenn Williams, Jr., MD, medical director of OhioHealth Urgent Care told NBC4 reporter Elyse Chengery.

Reynoldsburg mother Aimee Talbott knows that all too well. Recently, she made two visits to OhioHealth Urgent Care – Reynoldsburg with her two children.

“I came in earlier with my eight-year-old,” Talbott told NBC4. “It turns out he had strep throat. And you know missing Monday the second week in school is a bummer. His throat was really bothering him, runny nose and just not being able to sleep,” she said.

After her son’s diagnosis, she decided to bring in her 11-month-old daughter for an examination to make sure she hadn’t caught it also.

“Everyone’s real friendly and in each other business so no doubt (being back in school) had something to do with it,” said Talbott.

So what can parents do to give their kids the best chance of staying healthy during the school year? The biggest thing, according to Dr. Williams, is to make sure they are washing their hands with warm water and soap throughout the day.

“Do the ABC’s you know that song while they’re washing their hands,” Williams told NBC4. “Also, teaching them not to touch their face, their nose and their eyes. To not cough out in the open, coughing into your sleeve you know or sneezing.”

Keeping their immune systems strong to help battle the bugs is also important.

“Making sure your children are sleeping plenty of hours at night, having a good diet a nutritious diet, make sure your children are eating breakfast. Talk to your physician because they could recommend, potentially, a multi-vitamin each day,” said Dr. Williams.

So how do parent know if their child should take a sick day and stay home?

“If they have a fever over 100.5, if they have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, severe cold, sore throats, don’t send them to school until you have clearance from your physician.”

To find a primary care physician for your family, click here or download the OhioHealth app on your smartphone.

To find an OhioHealth Urgent Care facility near you, click here.