Back to School

Back to School

Ivette D. Rico, M.D.


School is back in session! As kids go back to school, they will be exposed to many different illnesses and they may get sick. We want our children to get better fast so they can return to school. The question is: Is it a cold or something else?

Upper respiratory infections or “common colds” are one of the most common illnesses, and one of the leading causes for doctor visits and school absences.

URI is caused by a virus that produces inflammation on the membranes of the nose and throat. It can be caused by any of more than 200 different viruses (Rhinovirus is the most common).

During a “cold” the immune system reacts to the virus producing an increase in mucus production, swelling of membranes inside the nose, sneezing and cough.

The symptoms may last from 1 to 2 weeks. There is no cure for the common cold, and antibiotics will not help treat a cold.

Treatments to help relieve the symptoms include increased fluid intake, saline nasal drops, and the use of a cool mist humidifier.

The most important medicine is prevention. Prevention measures include staying away from other “sick” people, frequent hand washing, and keeping hands off your face, nose and mouth.

If symptoms do not improve or a secondary infection is suspected such as an ear infection, sinus infection, pneumonia or throat infection, contact your pediatrician’s office!

Have a great school year!!