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The cold is the main illness doctors are seeing as school is back in session

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Posted at 7:29 PM, Aug 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-14 19:29:46-04

INDIANAPOLIS — School is back in session for children across central Indiana.

As children return to the classroom, Riley Children's Health says pediatricians are seeing an uptick in illnesses.

The main illness pediatricians are seeing right now is the cold.

Riley Children's Health says it's not uncommon around this time of year since the kids are in close contact but there are precautions parents can take now to prevent the spread.

"We're kind of getting to that point in the year where even the really well kids aren't maybe necessarily well anymore," said Dr. Shannon Dillion.

Dr. Shannon Dillion and her team at Riley Children's Health are seeing an influx of patients with stuffy or runny noses, coughing, sneezing, sore throat and more. They are symptoms of a cold.

"If your child is coughing, or has a runny nose, that really it's best to keep them home and as a working mom, I know that's not always convenient, but just remember that if you send your kid back, well, they're contagious. That's how things get spread around," said Dr. Dillion.

She says, hand foot and mouth disease is being diagnosed in younger children.

"Younger kids who are in daycare, and not so much in elementary school aged kids, there's also been a little bit of a stomach bug going around. A lot of kids are calling in with diarrhea recently. So, pretty average colds and viruses going around for this time of year," said Dr. Dillion.

When it comes to covid in the classroom, "We are seeing some covid. It hasn't spiked quickly while, the children have gone back to school, at least at this point, but that's something that we're monitoring for," said Dr. Dillion.

Doctors are also monitoring for the flu.

"Well, it's early for when we typically see flu season, I did hear just this morning that somebody in the office did test positive for both covid and flu earlier today. So, it's out there," said Dr. Dillion.

She encourages flu and covid vaccinations.

"We really can't predict when it's going to hit. and so we'd rather get people vaccinated on the early side of things, as opposed to assuming that it's not going to show up until November, December. and then if it hits early, we've kind of already missed the boat on that," said Dr. Dillion.

She said last year, clinics were overwhelmed with patients that lead to a shortage in medications, something they're hoping to prevent this year.

She said the good news is the number of sick children is down from this time last year.

Doctors say the misconception is parents assume their child is just suffering from allergies but Riley Children's Health says allergies don't cause a fever or make children overly tired so if you notice your child is napping more than usual it could be a sign of something contagious.