COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
As the new school year approaches, an MU Health Care doctor has assured the health risks children face should be familiar to parents.
"There is no new risk to their children. The risk has always been there when we bring a lot of children together who get into a similar classroom, and they begin to spread diseases like the common cold and other viruses with each other," Dr. Chris Wilhelm said.
According to the Children's Hospital of Orange County, toddlers and preschool children average eight to 12 colds, respiratory infections or stomach bugs each year. Pre-teens and children are expected to experience an illness five or six times a year, and teens and adults are anticipated have two or three colds and illnesses each year.
Wilhelm said it is common for children to develop symptoms within the first and second week of school.
"The most common infection we see in children as they return to school are obviously upper respiratory infections caused by viruses," Wilhelm said.
The biggest spike Dr. Wilhelm sees in children's sickness is the first weeks of back to school, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Wilhelm urges parents to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible.
Vaccines requirements for Missouri schools can be found here 2023-24 Missouri School Requirements.