Baby Your Baby: Back-to-School Germs


(KUTV) Kids are back in school and sharing desks, lockers, and germs! Dr. Per Gesteland with the University of Utah School of Medicine and Primary Children's Hospital stopped by KUTV to let us know what illnesses parents should be watching for and if your child gets sick, when it's okay to return to school.

Germs to watch for in the coming weeks:

• Parainfluenza – Croup (outbreak expected this fall)

• Group A Strep – Strep Throat, a routine menace for back-to-school season

• Rhinovirus (common cold) – can be really problematic for kids with asthma

• Pertussis (whooping cough) – while part of required immunizations, making a resurgence due to waning immunity

• Swine flu in September – avoid sick pigs in communities, exhibits

If your child gets sick, remember this:

• A sick child often demands more attention from the teacher or caregiver and cannot fully participate in class.

• A child with a communicable disease may spread the illness to others.

When it’s okay to return to school:

General guidelines:

• Symptoms don’t interfere with participation

• No diarrhea or vomiting

• Colds: No fever for at least 24 hours without pain reliever

Infection guidelines (those with a rash, mouth sores, or fever or behavior change):

• Ask your doctor, teacher or health department for specific recommendations.

• In general, wait until 24 hours after taking antibiotics or a doctor’s treatment.

• For more serious illness, like chickenpox, wait until one week after the onset of rash, or until all lesions have dried and crusted.


• Sufficient sleep and healthy eating are key

• Ensure immunizations are up to date

• Wash hands or use hand sanitizer

• Don’t share combs, brushes, clothes or hats to prevent the spread of lice.

More information: