Does it seem like your kids are in constant need of tissues and running through the cough medicine during the colder months? Trust us, you are not alone. And it never appears to be just a one-off. There are estimates that report children have an average of eight to twelve coughs or colds per year, with most of them likely happening during the winter (via Checkup Newsroom). The illnesses often come back-to-back, just like lyrics being strung together to make a song. Although, there is something decidedly less poetic about a cold followed by the flu. Just what is it about the winter that is making children so ill so often?
If you think it has to do with the weather, then many others would agree. It is a common belief that it is the cold weather making your child sick. When in fact, it is avoiding the chilly temperatures outside that is often the reason your child is under the weather. Michael Lee, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s Health and an Associate Professor at UT Southwestern explains: “Playing together inside means kids are in closer proximity to each other, sharing the air that could be contaminated with more germs, infections and viruses,” he says (via Children’s Health).
You may have to blame the holidays
And while we mostly like to save blaming the holidays for added stress and spats with a distant relative over pumpkin pie, we can also blame the festive season for why our younger ones are getting sick. Winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas often come with travel. And being outside of a normal sleeping and eating routine, in addition to being exposed to a new environment, weakens both ours and our children’s immune systems (via Children’s Health).
We know it’s exhausting if your child has fallen victim (again) to the latest “bug” going around their daycare or school. But there is a positive spin that can be put on all those days you’re having to take off of work. Sickness at an early age can help boost your child’s immune system for the years to come. And a lot of children are less plagued by common illnesses by the time they reach middle school (via CCM Health). We know that isn’t necessarily enough to make you feel grateful when your kid falls victim to the flu, but we’re guessing that whatever helps you see through the sea of tissues is welcome.
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