The Dreaded Recurring Viral Infection – Every Preschool Mom’s Nightmare

April 25, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Diary of a Baby

viral infection in toddlers - Baby & Beyond

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing titled Diary of a Baby chronicling the candid confessions of a baby from 0 to 2 years old.

You can read the previous post in the series here: Big Boy Underwear – A Toilet Training Saga

You can find the entire series here: Diary of a Baby

Age: 19 months old


Dear Diary,


Can’t write much today. No energy. Sick as a dog. Yes, again! Just barely recovered from the flu a couple of days ago and it’s a stomach bug now. Just going to curl up in Mamma’s lap and sleep all day long.

I’ll see you when I resurface. Bye.

viral infection in toddlers - Baby & Beyond

The Dreaded Recurring Viral Infection – Every Preschool Mom’s Nightmare


The dreaded recurring viral infection in toddlers – which preschooler mom doesn’t relate to this! I’ve heard so many parents say this – “ever since my child started preschool, she’s been coming home with a runny nose, stomach ache, scratchy voice, cough almost every other week. She’s barely fine for a week and then she catches another virus.”


If you can relate to this, don’t worry. You are not alone and there is nothing wrong with your child either. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, on average a toddler may get up to 12 colds a year, which is about once every month. Add to this all the other kinds of viral infections and you probably have an unwell toddler every 2 weeks.


Someone even told me that preschools are ‘germ factories’ which is a little harsh but if you look at the facts, it’s sort of true. Kids get dirty. It’s that simple. Some preschoolers are still in the teething / mouthing everything / sucking on their fingers phase. They don’t end up washing their hands every time. They’re too small to understand the importance of covering their mouth when they sneeze. Some kids are in the midst of being toilet trained and accidents are unavoidable. All these factors mean that if there is a sick child in the prechool, the toys, books, furniture and other surfaces would start getting infected. Its physically impossible for the preschool to sanitize everything every day. Other kids would pick up the germs through contact with these surfaces which means even more surfaces would get infected. Its a vicious cycle. The closed air-conditioned environment is more conducive to the virus spreading amongst the children.


The silver lining is that children are building up their immune system each time. As they grow up, they will be lesser susceptible to viruses.


Baby N has been going to daycare and preschool since a year and I am so tired of seeing him suffer. So I have been talking a lot about this to pediatricians and preschool teachers and these are a few tips from them to help prevent viral infection in toddlers:

  1. Get your child and in fact your whole family vaccinated against the flu every year. Remember that you could be a carrier of the virus too and spread it back to your child. So its best to have the whole family vaccinated
  2. Make sure your child washes hands with soap before and after every meal, after playing outdoors, after using the washroom and after returning home from preschool
  3. Teach your toddler to blow his nose and sneeze into a tissue or handkerchief
  4. Ensure the child gets sufficient sleep and rest, even when healthy (however hard this may be with an active toddler!) because a tired body is more likely to have lower immunity
  5. Moms if your children are unwell, please don’t send them to school. I admit I was guilty of sending my sick child to school after just a day because sometimes you just cannot get out of a work commitment at the last minute. But I recently spoke to a pediatrician and was alarmed to learn that when we have a cold, days 3 to 5 are in fact when we are most contagious. And we remain contagious as long as we are sick, which can be up to a week even with a minor viral infection. So now I am more careful about keeping him at home when he is unwell
  6. Serve up more fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in Vitamin C, to boost your child’s immunity
  7. Ensure your child drinks enough water which cleanses the body and flushes out toxins


I am participating in the April A to Z blogging challenge

I am participating in the April A to Z blogging challenge

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  1. Anshu Bhojnagarwala said on April 25, 2018 8:44 pm:

    Oh, it’s really heartbreaking to see your child sick! You have given some good tips, Mahak! I am sure all mommies would benefit from them.

    1. Baby & Beyond said on April 25, 2018 9:36 pm:

      Thank you Anshu

  2. Sarah said on April 26, 2018 9:08 am:

    It can be so hard. My kids aren’t in preschool but we for a short time would put them in child watch at the YMCA so my husband and I could workout. Every time, EVERY time, they’d go they’d come home sick for a week or more. I want them to build their immune system and all but man it’s constant.

    1. Baby & Beyond said on April 26, 2018 10:02 am:

      It can be really tough but I have to say that my boy has been going to daycare since a year and I’ve noticed that he’s been falling I’ll lesser and lesser.. So the is hope that his immunity is building up. Fingers crossed

  3. Julie said on April 26, 2018 8:29 pm:

    This!!! OMG it was so bad my toddler’s first winter in daycare. Every other week it was something new.

    1. Baby & Beyond said on April 26, 2018 8:43 pm:

      Hugs…I am in that phase now and totally relate