Reading 2 mins.
in collaboration with
Dr Gérald Kierzek (Medical Director of Doctissimo)
That’s it, the cold is here and with it comes the first ailments of winter: flu, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, angina, nasopharyngitis, Covid… So many infections that can look alike and for which parents do not always know if they have to send their child to school. We take stock of the issue with Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor and medical director of Doctissimo.
Winter viral infections are contagious. And the children, who are in close contact throughout the day, whether at school or in the crèche, are the first to bear the brunt of this.
Especially since due to the health crisis and the various confinements, some children are affected this year for the first time and in a more virulent way.
Faced with a sick child, whatever the virus or bacteria involved, it is his symptoms that should guide your attitude towards him. Runny nose, headache, sore throat… You will have to adapt the situation according to your general condition.
Indeed, when the symptoms are intense, with high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, disturbed diet, breathing difficulties or lack of sleep, it is absolutely necessary to keep your child at home. Dr Gérald Kierzek goes further. “In general, as soon as a child has a viral episode with fever, body aches or an episode of gastroenteritis, he must be left at home, so that he does not contaminate others.“.
It all depends on the condition of the child
In the event of cold symptoms, it is possible to do a test at home, to rule out the hypothesis of a Covid-19 infection.
Once the child has recovered, after a few days, it is no longer contagious. He may still cough a little, or have a runny nose, but he will be fit enough to follow in class and therefore go to school.
Pay attention to the particular case of allergies: allergic children, who regularly present this type of symptom (stuffy nose, runny nose, slight cough) and for whom they cannot systematically miss class. Similarly, a cough sometimes persists long after the child is better. This should not deprive him of returning to class.
Do not hesitate to consult a doctor
In general, schools always specify their conditions for receiving a child. For example, in case of high fever, teachers prefer the child to stay at home. Moreover, parents should not hesitate to go see their doctor, even if the child is not very sick, this will avoid a possible aggravation of the symptoms. This applies in particular to toddlers, for whom the state of health can deteriorate very quickly.
Explain barrier gestures to children
To prevent all these respiratory diseases, barrier gestures must be explained to children. Take them to wash their hands regularly, cough or sneeze into their elbow or into a tissue, throw them away and wash their hands, do not share their cutlery in the canteen… So many small gestures that can help prevent these illnesses, and not only in winter!