My son, age 4 (in two weeks) went to kindergarten this year. Not even a month has passed, and he's been ill twice. The first week was fine, the second - he was coughing a lot and had a runny nose. A barking type of cough. He stayed home for a week and then went back on the third week. And on Saturday he began coughing again, so is staying at home this week too. Now, I know that children in kindergarten catch colds more often, but this often? We have friends with kids who go to kindergartens and our son gets ill more often than the others, hands down.

So, I guess, my question is: is that normal?

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    I think this is kind of a medical question, and thus out of scope for the site. You have concerns about your child's health, DOCTOR, not internet Q&A site. Your child may have been cuddling the other kids when they sneeze, or they may have a serious immune system issue. I personally would be reluctant to diagnose between these based on a StackExchange post.
    – deworde
    Sep 24, 2014 at 7:58
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    I disagree; this isn't asking us to diagnose his child, this is asking parental advice that I'd ask another parent if I had that concern. Perfectly reasonable question.
    – Joe
    Sep 24, 2014 at 22:19
  • @deworde I'm not asking for a diagnose, as Joe pointed out. My question is more about should I be worried or is it something more or less every child experiences when he/she goes to a kindergarten. Thanks for the link though. Sep 25, 2014 at 7:12
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    I read in one paper (I get my information from the literature - or journals - and from conferences) that preschoolers in preschool get an average of 10 URIs per year. If a child has never been to preschool, I would expect about 8-10 colds per year for the first couple of years. But asking the child's doctor is never the wrong way to go. Jan 21, 2017 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


From what I've heard from friends and acquaintances, it's pretty normal that a kid going to some kind of organized childcare (kindergarten, school, whatever) for the first time will get ill more often than usual; the reasoning behind this is that due to the many kids in one place, it's also easier to get viruses transmitted. The immune system of a kid who hasn't been exposed to such surroundings before will need to play catch up to build a defense against the most common viruses, and that often means getting a cold first. Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about him having caught two colds, but if you are worried, I would of course consult a doctor, but also inquire at the kindergarten what their experience is with new kids.

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    This is pretty much what I wanted to write myself, +1 from me.
    – sbi
    Sep 24, 2014 at 13:26
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    Great answer, I wanted to add 2 things, 1: If you move long geographic distances you might see the same pattern (moving from the Europe to US, I felt it took me about 2 years for my adult immune system to 'catch up') and 2: If a kid has already been in organized childcare in this area and suddenly gets a lot more sick, I would consult a doctor.
    – Ida
    Sep 24, 2014 at 16:32
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    2 other things as well. Eldest are ususally more prone to this since kids with older sibling will "benefit" from exposure before they enter organized childcare. Be prepared, for the next year or so: being sick once or twice a month was standard for our 4 kids, or they will bring headlice, or stomach flu or ... :) Sep 24, 2014 at 16:54
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    Wow, thanks. Never thought of it this way, @Ida. I actually moved from Russia to the Czech Republic in 2011 and now that I think of that, I was sick more often right after moving. Sep 25, 2014 at 7:16
  • @VincentHubert, I guess I'll brace myself for what's coming then. :) He has a younger brother who has already caught his cold a couple of times. At least I'm happy that he's "benefiting" from that. :) Sep 25, 2014 at 7:18

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