April 14, 2009,
L.H. asks from West Jordan, UT on April 11, 2009
How Can My Son Get an Education When He's Sick All the Time?!?
My oldest is four and he's almost constantly sick. He usually has a runny nose and cough and gets really sick about once every six weeks or two months. This hasn't really been an issue until he joined a neighborhood preschool. They only meet once a week, but he's absent more often than not because he's sick and I don't want to spread germs to the other kids and their families. I'm not worried about him missing preschool, but I am starting to wonder about when he gets into kindergarten. Do I just send him to school when he's got that runny nose and cough and try not to think about who he's infecting? I can't take him out of school every week or every other week, can I? He'd get so behind! Do any of you other moms have perpetually sick kids? What do you do about school? Is homeschool my best option (I wouldn't mind homeschooling at all, fyi)? But he's so social and would thrive in a classroom setting, I think, so I haven't ruled out public school. But is that feasible for us???
So What Happened?™
I was a bit unclear. He's been sick often since he was about 22 months old, not just since he started school. I am suspecting allergies, too, but we just put him on an allergy med last week and then got very sick this weekend. Back to the doctor for us and this time I'll request a more in depth look at allergies and asthma. Any tips on allergy testing would be appreciated! Thanks everyone!
M.H. answers from Boise on April 12, 2009
I have 2 friends whose children have the same issue. One friend found that giving Echanachea (sp) drops every day cleared up the runny noses completely. My other friend took her son to an ENT and found that he had a serious sinus infection and just recently had his adenoids and tonsils removed and tubes put in his ears. Both children were very snotty all the time. They kept them in school because well honestly most kids are snotty.
C.S. answers from Denver on April 13, 2009
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L.S. answers from Grand Junction on April 12, 2009
I am the mother of a 6 year old son and 4 year old daughter and it's my experience that kids build up their immunity in their early pre-school years (by getting sick all the time) and then by the time they are ready for kindergarten their systems are strong and they get sick much less frequently. In my opinion it's one of the benefits of pre-school. Kids who don't go to preschool and don't build up their immunity can tend to miss a lot of school that first year because they are sick all the time (at least that's what our kindergarten teacher says).
Your younger children will probably start to pick up germs from your oldest and may be able to fend them off at at earlier age. At least that's what happened with my daughter.
Finally, if your 4 year old continues to be constantly sick, you might want to look into getting him tested for allergies. Personally, I have a lot of allergies and when they are acting up I am much more susceptible to colds, bronchitis, etc. He might have some simple food allergies that could be affecting his health in ways that are not obvious.
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J.P. answers from Denver on April 12, 2009
Is it possible that he has allergies? Little kids get sick a lot, but this sounds extreme. There are a few things you can try and some things to look for. First, if it is allergies there will be other symptoms: dark circles or puffiness under the eyes, rashes (eczema or hives), constipation and/or diarrhea often, ADHD like symptoms, to name a few. If it isn't allergies then there are some simple things you can do to boost his immune system. Get omega three fatty acids--you can buy them for kids at any natural food store. My little one likes the "gummies". Also, get him a chewable probiotic. Probiotics not only support digestive health, they also support the immune system. Again, any natural food store will have this. It wouldn't hurt to get him a multi-vitamin and some extra vitamin C as well.
Just some thoughts--hope they help! Happy to answer more questions if you have them about what I've said.
C.P. answers from Provo on April 12, 2009
I am dealing with the same issue. My youngest son is now five. I have been a single mom almost all his life and he has had to go to daycare or preschool. I can see that his immune system is getting better year by year. It is really hard for me because I have to stay home from work every time he is sick and take him to the doctor. I just keep thinking to myself that he is going to have a really good immune system by the time he gets in kindergarten. I also work on a school bus and we can not refuse transportation to any child so I get to see the teachers reactions when we show up with a sick child. They tend to get really upset when a child shows up to school with green or even thick snot coming out of their nose. We have children that have slight coughs and it seems to be OK. I am the aide on the school bus so I am face to face with all of the children and most of the time I can see it in their eyes when they are sick. The teacher will be sure to tell you if there is a constant issue.
C.H. answers from Denver on April 12, 2009
Have you done a lot of research into feeding him a healthier diet? As a brief example, my children have only had Royal Crest milk and eggs from free-roaming chickens their whole lives, and rarely any juice or soda, and they're healthier than every single family of kids I've ever met. We don't eat vegan or anything extreme or difficult, but I go out of my way to avoid packaged & prepared foods because they're loaded with chemicals and other unnatural things which cannot possibly enhance our health.
If your cabinet is full of juice boxes and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, seriously, we should meet and talk. I want to reiterate that that stuff IS NOT FOOD and cannot possibly help your child's body more than the harm it does with all the sugar and chemicals.
I understand that this problem may have nothing to do with nutrition, but I make this suggestion because most people feed this stuff to their children, and their children are sick far, far more often than my children.
K.P. answers from Denver on April 14, 2009
If the problem of him being sick all the time just started when he started school I think he will be fine. All 4 of my kids went through what seemed like 1 bad year for each of them. They were always sick but after that year they have been fine. Actually after that 1 bad year 2 of them had perfect attendance for 2 years in a row. I hope this gives you hope that this will not last forever. When they start school they are exposed to so many more germs, but once the body adjusts they will build up some immunity to all the stuff that goes around. My rule of thumb is if they are not vomiting or don't have a fever they go to school. I had to make that rule or they thought they could stay home whenever and when they get older it gets harder to break them of that habit.
G.L. answers from Salt Lake City on April 12, 2009
I am a homeschooling mom at the moment (and loving it), and just because you are homeschooling (if that's what you choose to do) doesn't mean your child need be starved for a social life. I didn't look at your info to see where you are, but many areas have homeschooling co-ops or Friday school, some church based, some secular, in which you could participate with other homeschooling families. And homeschool families tend to be much more understanding of the need for flexibilty, both in terms of scheduling and in terms of a child's academic and social progress. Many areas have a Yahoo homeschool group that might be a good place to start looking.
J.S. answers from Missoula on April 12, 2009
I was this way growing up, and actually it followed me into adulthood. At 20 I was dealing with chronic fatigue and a broken down immune system. I tried everything to lead a normal life and prevent sickness, but nothing worked until I started on a nutritional product called Reliv. I have now had energy, been sickness free (other than 2 colds) and off of 3 prescription medications (that I had been on for over 16 years) for eczema, allergies and athsma for over 6 1/2 years!!!! This is the best nutrition in the world. I even used it during pregnancy and my boys are so healthy. My 4 year old has never even had a sick visit to the Dr. he has only been sick twice...each cold lasted 2-3 days. It does not have to be the way you have been living with him. I hear people say, "the stuff they get is building up their immune system" but the truth is, if they have a strong immune system to begin with, they don't get that stuff. Let me know if you want help!