I have been looking at the data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and it looks like flu season is making an early exit from many parts of the country. That would be a welcome blessing. But cold season is still in full swing and so many of the parents I am seeing in the office continue to say, “it just seems impossible that my child can have this many colds in one year!”. If you have a child between the ages of 6 months and 3 years of age, and they go to school, you are probably one of these parents.
The first several winters that you child starts day care or pre-school are pretty tough....not only in terms of “being away from your child”, but also for the number of viral illnesses they get. Many a parent has called me “CRAZY” when I tell them that it is not unusual at all for your child to get 7-10 viral infections during the first fall/winter season that their child is around other children. In fact, I know that there have been several families over the years that changed pediatricians just because the parent felt certain that their child had an “immune problem” due to their frequent coughs and colds. True problems with immunity do exist in pediatrics but they don’t typically present with recurrent coughs and colds, but rather with far more serious illnesses. Thankfully these are rare.
Parents with younger children know their pediatrician far better than they really want to during those first several years. That is another reason that you want to find a pediatrician that is not only close to your house but that you really get along with!
So with all of that being said, hang in there for about another 6-8 weeks and the winter viral season truly will be exiting and children (and their parents) will all start to be healthier for the rest of spring. I promise once your youngest child reaches 3 years of age your visits to the pediatrician during the winter months become less and less frequent.