4 scary health issues that should be on your college-bound child’s radar
“Meningitis can be deadly, and we’ve seen headline-grabbing outbreaks at colleges.”
April 25, 2019
Sending your child off to college can be anxiety-provoking on so many levels. Among other things, you won’t be there to make sure they’re being safe and are eating and sleeping well. And, for the first time, you also won’t be on-hand to help take care of them when they’re sick.
Unfortunately, colleges can be a hotbed for germs given that so many students live in close quarters. “When children go to college, they’re going to be in an environment where there’s likely to be a lot of exposure to many different infections at the same time from people from all over the world,” infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “They don’t have their parents around prodding them, so they need to have some kind of knowledge of what they’re going to face and the best actions to take.”
The odds are pretty high that your child is going to get sick at some point, so making sure they’re aware of the symptoms of certain health conditions — especially more serious ones — and the right things to do if they suspect they may have developed one are crucial.
Among the more serious ones that should be on your child’s radar are meningitis, mononucleosis (aka mono), mumps, and the flu, Ashanti Woods, MD, a pediatrician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. These conditions tend to “pick on” younger adults because they’re easy to transmit and thrive in close living quarters, he says. Couple that with the fact that kids in this age group tend to share utensils and drinks, don’t always follow good hand hygiene, and tend to be physically affectionate, and they may be more likely than the general population to be exposed, Woods says.
Here’s what you should tell your child about each.
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