Back-to-School Illnesses: What to Watch Out For


As kids return to school, so do the germs. Unfortunately, classrooms are breeding grounds for contagions; it’s a community that unintentionally encourages the spread of contagious infections, as kids participate in hands-on learning activities and interact with their peers. And it’s one of the many reasons why back-to-school colds are so common in the fall. That being said, schools are continuing to take many measures to protect staff and students from COVID-19. Those precautions have majorly altered classroom atmospheres, limiting the spread of germs via person-to-person contact. Despite these extreme measures, however, students can still fall victim to the common cold and other viral back-to-school illnesses—making it important for you to stay on high alert for symptoms.

Common Classroom Contagions

Here are some common back-to-school illnesses to watch out for as your kiddos return to the classroom:

Flu (Influenza)

The flu is a very common back-to-school illness and easy to mistake for the common cold; both illnesses share similar symptoms like congestion, a sore throat, and nausea. However, unlike colds, the flu strikes fast, and symptoms will typically begin to show within 24 hours of contraction. Flu symptoms also tend to be more severe than cold symptoms, including:

Strep Throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection, and it’s very common in children and teens. Red and white patches along inflamed tonsils at the back of the throat make this infection easy to spot. The inflammation can also make the throat feel extremely painful and scratchy, especially when swallowing.


By now, most people know that COVID-19 is a very contagious respiratory virus that displays mild to severe flu-like symptoms. However, with the COVID-19 Delta variant surging across much of the nation, parents need to keep a watchful eye out for symptoms and educate their kids on prevention practices that can keep the virus at bay.

DispatchHealth’s In-Home Pediatric Urgent Medical Service

While we’ve all become professional hand washers over this past year, back-to-school illnesses can creep up on the best of us. If your child does get sick and you’re hesitant to leave the house, turn to DispatchHealth. We deliver pediatric urgent medical care services to your doorstep, helping your child recover comfortably at home where they feel safe. Upon request, our team will arrive at your place of need with medical kits that contain roughly all of the tools and technologies you’d find at a traditional ER. Plus, our professionals will work in tandem with your child’s pediatrician, ensuring your primary care team is kept in the loop after the visit. Please explore our site to learn more about DispatchHealth’s in-home medical service or request care today. We’re rapidly growing and covering new markets across the country!


DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies. Sources referenced in this article:

The DispatchHealth blog provides tips, tricks and advice for improving lives through convenient, comfortable healthcare.

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