After months of summer vacation, school has just started and the high temperatures seem to have been replaced by the coolness of the early mornings and evenings. Unfortunately, the illnesses kids pick up at school quickly follow: bronchiolitis, gastroenteritis, and even the dreaded lice.
At Ser Padres we always advise you on treatment and, most importantly, avoiding these diseases, but since we wanted to go a step further, we spoke to renowned pediatricians Lucia Garland (better known on social networks as my pediatrician Lucía) on this and other questions.
What diseases are children mainly infected with at school, and what diseases should be prevented after returning to school?
Going back to school means returning to coexisting in enclosed spaces, dropping temperatures, and the respiratory viruses that are typical of this time of year. This is a reality we must understand year after year. There are some illnesses in childhood that we call seasonal, meaning they are prevalent at certain times of the year and we can’t fight them, such as the common cold, the flu, or bronchiolitis. So our consultations are full of kids with fevers, upper respiratory colds, bronchitis and bronchiolitis, otitis media, gastroenteritis and some pneumonia. The most effective measures to prevent these and many other illnesses are frequent hand washing, keeping spaces well ventilated, and avoiding school when your child has a fever.
One of the most common diseases in winter is bronchiolitis: can it also be considered rapeseed? How to prevent it?
Yes, there is no doubt that this is an epidemic. Star pathology occurs from the end of October to March; Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the main cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants, causing 80% of bronchiolitis. In Spain, during these months of the year, most hospital admissions for children under two years of age are due to bronchiolitis. Although it must be said that this is a common viral infection, in most cases it can be cured at home within 7-10 days.
Occurs in children under three months (especially under one month), premature infants, Children with underlying respiratory disease, heart disease, or certain immune deficienciesarrive.
In the rest of the population, that is, adults and children over two years old, this virus, called respiratory syncytial virus, causes an upper respiratory tract infection; a simple cold that does not cause serious complications, but in the youngest children, The virus descends into the bronchioles and causes obstructive disease, impairing their breathing and normal oxygenation.
Carmen de la Torre Morales
Preventive measures are the same as for other respiratory infections: wash your hands frequently, ventilate closed areas, wash toys regularly, and don’t hold very young babies or kiss their faces, especially if they have a cold. In addition, a “vaccine” against bronchiolitis was launched this year. It’s not just a vaccine, it’s actually a single dose of a monoclonal antibody that will be given to all children under one year old this year. All of our pediatricians are waiting for official recommendations from each autonomous region to start this process.
The vaccine is a monoclonal antibody that is administered like a vaccine, and A single dose provides at least five months of protection. By giving the antibodies directly to the baby, the newborn or mother’s immune system does not rely on the immune system to produce protection, and the effect takes effect immediately after administration. This antibody binds to respiratory syncytial virus and, by binding, prevents the virus from adhering to the bronchi and bronchioles.
In addition, there is a question, although we cannot consider it as a disease, but it is very common when returning home: can lice infestation be dangerous?
No, it’s not dangerous, but it’s annoying. It is important for parents to check their children’s hair when they notice them scratching their heads. This is true even if they don’t scratch.rightRegular head checks or even weekly scans are the best way to keep them under control. If discovered, treat them early to prevent them from continuing to infect other colleagues.
On the other hand, children with chronic diseases will also return to school. How can we take good care of them and prevent them from contracting other diseases?
The measures for these children are the same ones we should all follow: frequent hand washing, avoiding enclosed spaces, promoting outdoor activities, keeping up to date on vaccination schedules, eating healthily, staying away from ultra-processed foods and added sugars, and being physically active.
Other families must be aware that they may have a child with this condition in their class and therefore their child should not go to school if they have a fever or are sick. What may be a minor infection to one child may be a major problem to another. Empathy, respect and responsibility start here.
We are seeing an increase in diseases that have not been seen for years (scarlet fever, RSV…). What is the reason for this increase?
This is believed to be due to a combination of different factors. During the pandemic, many viruses, such as influenza or RSV, as well as bacteria, do not spread with the same intensity, either due to competition from SARS-CoV-2 itself or due to interference from measures implemented, such as the use Masks, isolation or more careful hygiene measures (hand washing, hydroalcoholic gel…). It is believed that due to these circumstances, There are “immune gaps,” which are clusters of people who are susceptible, vulnerable, and previously unexposed to these pathogens.
When it comes to reconciling illness and work (and we already know that kids tend to get sick multiple times throughout the school year), how do you do that with your kids? What advice would you give parents about this?
I think he, like everyone else, did the best he could. Things get even more complicated when your family also lives 1,000 kilometers away. The truth is, I don’t experience a situation that millions of families don’t experience every day. This is true bobbin lace, a puzzle, and if one piece fails, the rest suffers. In my practice, what I recommend to families is that they always have a backup plan because a child can get sick at any time, and it usually happens at night. so, If this happens, think carefully: what are we going to do, who will take care of the children, who can we ask for help, how can we manage our work, etc.Having things straightened out and tied up during this process will help a lot because if they get sick, they will get sick.
With the impact of the epidemic, the number of pediatricians participating in telephone consultations has increased significantly. What do you think of this? Do you think it’s always better to see your child’s physical condition firsthand so you can evaluate them?
I think this is another addition to our daily lives. Some queries can undoubtedly be resolved over the phone without having to meet the child, especially when it comes to health advice. For example, we at Centro Crezando launched sleep video consultations a few years ago, which have been incredibly effective, providing families around the world with the opportunity to address issues that really severely impact the quality of life of parents and children; or scheduled treatment reviews or nutritional consultations. Yes, these types of advisories represent a huge improvement and discourage families from traveling. Of course, in many cases we must explore the child before making a diagnosis and recommendations. So whether it’s black or white, we have a fantastic range of colors available for the home and of course there’s a place for phone and video consultations too.
You have just successfully opened Centro Crecimiento in Madrid, what can families find?
The reception was fantastic and that’s because of the amazing team we have. Having all medical and surgical specialties for children, adolescents and adults means that the whole family can be treated by more than 60 specialists in one centre. We have extensive experience in our respective fields, not only in the medical field but also in the mental health field, with a qualified team of psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, speech therapists and therapists who make The entire home feels heard and most of your needs are met.