Young children get 6 to 8 viruses a year. Here’s what parents need to know

HOUSTON – Toddlers with runny noses are a common sight.

Children under the age of six get sick a lot this time of year, with symptoms lasting up to 14 days.

According to Dr. Maria Mejia with Baylor College of Medicine, they can get between six to eight illnesses a year.

“Most of them occur between September and April, which are the colder months,” Dr. Mejia explained. “It feels like it’s always constant, and sometimes it’s just you over impose the cold symptoms related to the flu or other viruses going around.”

Key symptoms and behaviors to look out for to know if it’s severe or not:

  • If they have trouble breathing, refuse to drink, or have a 101-degree fever for more than three days, they need to see a doctor
  • If they are sick but get better in about a week, it’s probably just a cold.
  • If it’s just a runny nose that persists past 10 days, they may need to see an allergist

Children will be allergic to more things than adults as their immune systems adjust to the world around them.

“That’s why we keep encouraging kids to play outside because that’s how you build your immune system, you get exposed and your body learns about it and fights,” Dr. Mejia said.