List of common health concerns in grade school

When our kids go back to school, their chances of encountering a health-related issue increase. More friend encounters during the day means more germs, more mistakes, and more opportunity for illnesses to spread a lot faster then it would at home.

A list of common health concerns in grade school and preventative measures. Original photo dimashiper on fotolia.

These illnesses are a part of life for many and can be managed, or avoided with some planning and education.

Common Cold

Once the weather starts to turn cold, this is the most common one around our school. Colds take many forms and have just as many symptoms ranging from headaches, body aches, coughing, stuffy nose, runny nose, lethargy, and more.

Prevention is the best tool against the common cold in school. Teach kids the importance of washing their hands, sparingly using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, coughing ‘like a vampire’ (mouth in inner bend of arm), and not sharing items such as straws, gum, lip balm and more.

Have your medicine cabinet stocked for when the common cold hits your house. Because it will, and you can create a cough & cold survival checklist with a list of items that are always good to keep on hand.


The fall and winter months are prime time for the flu to circulate among students at school. Immunizations are usually offered near the end of September or the beginning of October so check in with your local health authority to find out when they expect to be ready. Don’t put off an immunization until January when an outbreak has scared everyone into the clinic and you are in line for hours.

You can read more on London Drugs flu clinics, including locations and upcoming dates at,default,pg.html


If you aren’t sure if your child is due for any vaccines at their age, check with your local health authority. Most schools will remind you and ask for a record that the current vaccinations are up to date, but if you aren’t sure, you can always check on your own. Then you can make an appointment and get in ahead of the rush.


Make sure you are stocked with any items you need to send to school with your child if they suffer from asthma. Make an appointment with your family doctor, review medications and get any prescriptions you might need ahead of time.

Notify the school of any triggers that can be avoided (eg. excessive perfumes, etc).

Eye Health

Poor eye sight can contribute to lack of participation and poor grades in class.

If you haven’t had your child’s eyes checked yet, now is a good time to start. If there are no previous concerns, most opticians will begin checking eyes around the age of three.

Know what is covered. For example, if you live in Alberta and are under 18, eye examinations (one complete per year) are covered if the exam is done in Alberta so there is no reason not to get your child checked yearly if you live here.


For kids with allergies, going to school can be a little scary. If your child suffers from any allergies, make time to speak to the teacher and principle to make sure everyone understands what the allergy is, how to avoid it, and how to administer help in the event that it happens.

In addition to speaking to the school, talk to your child about their health so they also have the tools to protect themselves. If you are new to managing food allergies, begin by researching how to talk to your kids about allergies for great tips and suggested language.

Suggested reading: Anaphylaxis Preparedness


Who else gets crawly feelings when they say that word in their head? Lice is a pain to deal with, but it is a common occurrence so chances are good that you will deal with this one at some point.

Depending on how you want to deal with the situation, you can find various treatments for Lice at London Drugs.

Review your medications

Back to school is a great time to go through your medicine cabinet and remove expired medications. You can take any expired medication (and vitamins, etc) into your local London Drugs and a pharmacist will remove the labels and safely discard of the old medication. Remember to keep your medication out of reach of children.

Do you want more information on any of these health concerns? Stop in and chat with a London Drugs pharmacist to find information and the right product for your child.

This post is written as part of my ambassadorship with London Drugs. The above is not to be taken as professional medical advice. If you are concerned for the well-being of your child at any time, seek medical advice.

Found in Back to School, Health & Wellness