In the office I am often reassuring parents that there is nothing unusual happening when their kids seem to be “sick all the time”. Primarily they are getting upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) which are called “common colds”. These are called common for a reason – the AAP states that children have 8-10 colds in their first two years of life; I usually explain that parents should expect that their school-aged kids will have 6-10 infections in any given year. This time of year there is more floating around that the common cold; there are also lot of vomiting and diarrheal illnesses. Of course our little monsters share all these germs making it hard for a household of kids and adults to stay well.
So in new-blog-post #2 I am here to tell you that, sister, I am right there with you. I fell asleep last night dreaming up another sort of post…it was a lovely one about Alexander Calder and happy art. However, after a night of caring for the third vomiting child in 2 weeks I have changed my mind. I too am left wondering “what the heck”? Since late August (when school started) I am certain there have been no more than a handful of days when all of the 5 of us have been healthy. Colds followed by sinus infections and new colds. Now vomiting mixed with cold after cold. Why is it so hard to stay well? Rationally the doctor in me knows why. Cold viruses are primarily shared by person-to-person contact with contaminated secretions. Meaning that little monster #1 wipes their runny nose and touched the doorknob, the refrigerator, the Lego, the pencil etc and then Monster #2 (or sweet innocent mom) follows behind and touches the same surface. To inoculate themselves they then absent mindedly touch their own nose/eye/mouth. And presto…in 2-3 days a new cold is born. Similar scenario with the throw-ups but with the added bonus that in that case monster #1 may not even be sick but can be shedding virus everywhere they go. Of course, hand-washing helps but – even the fastidious amongst us forget at times.
Okay, back to the real world…laundry load #5 needs to be put in the dryer. See? I’m right here with you!