The 1 Place That's Really Making Your Kids Sick

girl in a doctor office waiting room with fish tank

Do you ever cringe just a little (or a lot) when you take your kid to the doctor for their well-child visits? It’s hard enough to keep them snot and fever-free, and then we have to take them to a place where sick people congregate so they can get weighed and measured and immunized?

Most pediatricians’ offices these days have different sections for the healthy kids versus the sick kids, but oftentimes it’s just opposite sides of the same room. Our doc has two rooms separated by a wall, but they share the same desk, and who’s to say those pens for sign-in aren’t getting swapped back and forth?


It turns out we’re not being paranoid -- your kid does have a higher chance of getting sick after visiting the doctor’s office for a well visit than if he hadn’t gone. From Today Moms:

“Children and their families had a 3.2 percent increase in flu-like infections after a child 6 or under went to a well-child visit, according to the survey data. While that increase seems small, experts estimate it amounts to about 700,000 cases of preventable flu-like infections each year.”

Now that’s not to say that those well-child visits should be skipped. They’re important for addressing any health or development questions with the doc, not to mention those important vaccines (if you’re into that).

So what to do? Just take as many precautions as possible and say a prayer for health.

Some ways to decrease the chances of your kid getting sick include keeping him away from the shared toys that may be in the waiting room. Bring a tote from home if you know you’re going to be waiting a bit. Never mind, bring a tote from home regardless, since this is the doctor’s office we’re talking about. You will be waiting.

This might seem simple, but don’t let your younger kids stick anything in their mouths. The older ones too, I suppose.

Do not hand your kid a writing implement from the front desk so she can draw you a picture. Those pens or pencils are about the germiest things you’ll ever come into contact with.

If you don’t mind looking like a total dork, try facemasks. Good luck keeping those on your kid though.

And of course, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car for when you leave. Apply liberally. Make everyone drink orange juice at dinner for an extra vitamin C-laden precaution against impending illness.

Has your kid gotten sick after visiting the pediatrician for a well-child visit?

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