Staying healthy in school: Kid-friendly tips

Do you know why school kids get sick so often? The best ways to keep your child healthy in school? Get the answers to these school health questions and more. By Mayo Clinic Staff

Does it seem as if your child is sick all the time? In the early school years, your child's immune system is put to the test. After all, young children in large groups are breeding grounds for the organisms that cause illness. Here's why infectious illness is so common — and what your child can do to stay healthy in school.

How infections spread

Many childhood illnesses are caused by viruses. All it takes is a single child to bring a virus to school for the spread to begin. Consider this common scenario — a child who has a cold coughs or sneezes in the classroom. The children sitting nearby inhale the infected respiratory droplets and the cold spreads. Or perhaps a child who has diarrhea uses the toilet and returns to the classroom without washing his or her hands. Illness-causing germs might spread from anything the sick child touches to other children who touch the same object and then put their fingers in their mouths.

Oct. 15, 2011 See more In-depth