The top 5 issues pediatricians see as children go back to school

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Once summer ends, the doctors at the University of Kansas Health System expect to see children in the clinic. Often the visit has to do with children going from the freedom of summer to sharing everything, including germs, with 20 or 30 classmates.

Dr. Stephen Lauer, a pediatrician, listed the top five issues he sees as children return to school: lice, scabies, ringworm, pink eye, and asthma.

Lauer said you want to get asthma under control as a priority. The other issues are almost a rite of passage for every child.

“They are really pretty much a function of being a kid and things that will be shared. It's no reflection on the parents or the school that this is there. It just has to be treated so that it doesn't spread to others,” Lauer said.

Lice can spread by sharing hats or touching hair and causes itchy scalps. Lauer recommends treating it with medicated shampoos but pointed out there’s nothing better than using a comb to remove knits from your child’s hair.

Ringworm, pink eye and scabies can also be treated with over the counter options.

Most importantly, Lauer said he tells all his patients to make sure their children are getting at least eight hours of sleep each night.

“We hear, ‘My kid is tired and can't get their homework done.’ We start checking on their sleep as one of the first things. And you realize grade school kids are getting six or seven hours of sleep a night, or teenagers are getting six and seven hours. There's no way they can do their work and be awake on that kind of sleep,” Lauer said.

His advice is to have your child stop watching TV or using a digital device one hour before bedtime.

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