My son is now 3.5 years old and had recently started going to play school. Ever since, he had been getting sick approximately at a rate of once every 4-5 weeks. Each time it is the same story, he gets fever, cold (sometimes cough as well) and we take him to the doctor and he prescribes some acetaminophen based medication and he gets better. He is up to date on all vaccinations and my child's pediatrician says it is normal and happens when a child is first exposed to an outside environment like daycare or school.

This has been happening for the last 4 months. Is it normal? Has anyone else faced this problem when they sent their kid to school for the first time?

5 Answers 5


Oh, yes, that's normal for kids who have just started going to school/preschool etc.

Quite simply, there are hundreds, if not thousands of cold and flu viruses circulating in society. As adults, we've already built resistance to the many we've encountered over our lifetimes, so we won't be carriers for those germs and pass them on to our kids, because the germs can't breed and build up in us (after we've developed defenses against those specific strains).

At school, your child is being exposed to a much, much broader spectrum of pathogens because the other kids they meet also haven't built up resistance, and will acquire and pass along what they run into, and vice versa, so there are huge multiples of kids with very little resistance to anything (and, by definition, the capacity to carry and pass on many more varieties).

The different resistance of other adults they encounter in their households and families will mean other, different germs that maybe your family has not been exposed to before, (which will mean you will also get sick a bit more often), or ones you have been exposed to, but the other families haven't (so, while you won't get sick and pass those along, another family might pass along those germs to your kids that they would not get from you).

Schools and other kids are germ factories. Keep in mind, that, as you rightfully view other people's kids as disease-infested vermin that they are, technically, your kid is the same to them.

  • 1
    Let's not forget the fact that young kids (and some adults!) don't have good hygiene either so all those germs have lots of ways of traveling from kid to kid. The only proactive thing you can do is teach them to wash their hands, sneeze/cough into a tissue or an elbow, and to keep stuff (toys, fingers) out of their mouth.
    – Jax
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 1:20
  • @Jax - true, the are all over each other, even after just wiping their noses or sneezing into their hands. Except for me. I was a sterile, germ free child, of course. :D Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 15:35

This can happen for a while, but it's not normal on the long term. So, if you child continues to get ill every month, month after month, then there may a medical problem that needs attention. E.g. the child may be deficient in some vitamins and minerals, e.g. iron deficiency which most people know can cause anemia, may also compromise the immune system, vitamin D is needed for the immune system to work properly, and many other such examples can be given. Grown ups will have a stronger and better trained immune system, they can then tolerate being low on iron, vitamin D, zinc or some other compound without that leading to getting infected with some virus.


Yes this is 100% normal. And don't be surprised if you catch some of the bugs your child does. That's because the last time you were exposed to kiddie germs was probably many years ago!

The best thing to do is to give your kid an immune boost. Lots of fruits and veggies, a daily probiotics, and good sleeping habits all help keep the body stronger against pathogens that make you sick.

It gets better the longer he's in school. My son is in his second year of daycare and got sick way less than during his first year.

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    No, for the most part, once you encounter a flu or cold virus, your body recognizes the pattern of proteins they produce, and develop anti-bodies for them. Once you get a cold or flu bug, your body remembers that and kills them off, pretty much for the rest of your life. It's not a matter of being a long time since having "kiddie germs." Most of those germs are the same germs as adult germs. Not my down-vote, but I'd imagine that's why it was done. Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 20:04
  • Absolutely not. Viruses mutate constantly and there's no way for your body to remember the same virus from 20 years ago when it's changed 500 times since then. Please explain then how adults get colds. According to your logic, you'd have one cold as a child and be done for the rest of your life.
    – Rachel S
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 0:21
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    @RachelS, the common cold is a family of about two hundred closely-related rhinoviruses. You don't only get one cold ever because "the cold" isn't one disease.
    – Mark
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 8:25
  • Exactly so when a child gets a cold every week it's a DIFFERENT cold virus and yes it's perfectly normal because there are no antibodies to fight the new strain of cold.
    – Rachel S
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 14:29
  • @RachelS - your body absolutely remembers the virus it got 30, 40, 50 years ago. If the virus mutates, it's no longer the same virus, it's a different one, as you noted, which is completely different than what you were saying in your answer. So, again, it has nothing to do with how long ago you got a virus, and "kiddie" viruses are the same as adult viruses. Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 15:33

Our son was always getting sick with monotonous regularity (way different to our daughter who was virtually never ill). Obviously, every time we'd take him to the doctor he'd have a cold or infection. Unfortunately, this masked the problem: his tonsils and adenoids were extreme enlarged. This made him susceptible to getting infections (which would further swell his tonsils and adenoids).

Eventually, a doctor worked out the issue. He had his tonsils and adenoids removed and became a different child. He was no longer tired (they caused sleep apnea), he gained weight (they made it hard for him to eat) and he got sick less often.

TL;DR Probably normal but there are cases where the may be a legitimate issue.


Sure, it's normal to have a cold when he hanging around other kids, but a fever every month isn't normal. How high are his fevers? A fever by itself in a kid that is still acting fine is not a problem. I wonder if he naturally runs warm, but you don't check his temperature when he doesn't have a cold.

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