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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our almost 4yr old DD just started preschool full time in August. (Last year she was three mornings a week in a very small preschool of 6-12 kids, but now she is every day at a preschool of 30-35 kids.) Since she started, we have all (me, DH, our 7 month old DD, in addition to the preschooler) been getting sick about once every two weeks. Colds, flus, stomach bugs, pneumonia, etc. Luckily (probably b/c she is still almost exclusively BF), the baby hasn't gotten very ill beyond a light cough, mild fever, and the sniffles.

But I have been continuously pretty sick for at least 6 weeks without a break, because once I start to get over one thing, the next thing comes. I am still recovering from pneumonia, have contracted a new bug that has given me full-on laryngitis (how do you care for a 3.5 year old when you can't talk at all?), and the last virus I had (which preceded the pneumonia) was so bad that I literally had several hours before the fever finally broke when I thought, for the first time in my life, that I might actually die from the illness.

I'm am probably getting a little sicker than anyone else because I am still almost exclusively BFing the baby (which I know takes it out of me more), and she is sleeping with me, and therefore I don't ever really get a totally uninterrupted nights sleep (although she sleeps sooo much better than her older sister ever did). Before DD started preschool this summer, I almost never got sick - I got a few mild colds each year, but haven't even had a full-on flu for more years than I can remember. I already take the full complement of vitamins, etc (a good multivitamin, vitamins C and D, fish oil, black currant oil, probiotics). I never got this sick when our older DD was a baby, but then she didn't have an older sibling bringing every horrible disease home from school.

I know that when kids go to school that it is normal for everyone to get sick a lot, but the statistics I have seen suggest that getting sick around once a month is more normal - we are at twice that rate so far (three colds, a flu, pneumonia, and laryingitis between August and now), and that seems way too excessive, especially since we aren't even into cold/flu season yet.

I'm hoping that someone here could tell me that they had a similar experience but that it calmed down after a few months, once their child got adjusted to the preschool environment?

I have read everything I can find about boosting the immune system, but the research on this that is out there is pretty insubstantial overall, and I am already taking all the vitamins/supplements that seem to make sense for this. (I have been trying to supplement my daughter as well, with just some basics, but she has such a discerning palate, she can tell if I have added anything to milk or juice, and she refuses to take it...) But if anyone has any other recommendations about helping us prevent this pattern from continuing it, I am all ears!

Above all I am really looking for some helpful encouragement from some of you who have been here before? :)

Thanks for taking the time to read my post!
 

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Yep, DD started daycare in the January right before she turned two and it was the worst winter ever! I was sick over and over all winter. She actually didn't seem to get as sick as I did. In any case, after that winter I've always gotten a flu shot and it's never been like that again.
 

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I am a long way off (in time) from that phase but I do remember getting sick a ton when the kids were littler. I reassured myself that there was a limited number of cold viruses in existence (like 200?) and so each cold I got was one more checked off the list! Since the kids have gotten older, I rarely get sick anymore, even when I am caring for them directly.

I would add, though, that I think you are correct that your current situation as a breastfeeding mom is part of the issue. While immensely protective of the baby, it is a lot for you. I wonder if you should see someone just to make sure you are doing everything possible to nurture and nourish yourself? Pneumonia is kind of a big deal and the fact that your body went there is concerning. That is the only thing about your situation that makes me worry a little because I don't think that is typical and may point to some sense that your body is really run down.

Hope this is helpful and doesn't make you more concerned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
mnj77 and lauren, thanks for the responses. Our older DD was up all night throwing up, so we can add that one to the list as well. It just never seems to stop! She seems fine this morning, at least. We are all getting flu shots this week (they weren't available until October, and we've also had to delay them a bit b/c of not giving them with fever or when someone was on antibiotics...). I'm hoping that helps at least a little. I think I got pneumonia because it immediately followed a virus that was one of the worst viral infections I've ever had. I literally felt the pneumonia coming on suddenly from one day to the next the day after the fever from the virus broke. I expect my immune system was really worn out from fighting that virus off, and that this is why I got the pneumonia. I'm due to see the doctor who treated me for pneumonia tomorrow and will discuss the situation further with him. But when I talk to doctors, they seem to just mumble something about how it is typical for everyone to get sick when young kids go off to school. I'm just concerned that it is happening so often. I do find it reassuring that you guys had similar experiences and that things did get better.

I have to say that if just one of us was getting this sick this often, I would be terrified of some kind of immune disorder - but since almost everyone in the family gets sick with everything each time, it seems just to be a general overexposure to germs thing. (I caught my older DD licking a public handrail on Sunday, and gave her quite a "talking to" about that - she knows about hand washing, and keeping one's mouth off of public surfaces, but she just can't seem to resist constantly touching things, and then touching her nose and mouth, and while I am pretty vigilant about handwashing and about pointing out which surfaces are potentially "dirty", I don't want to raise a child in a kind of "handwashing dictatorship" where she learns to be paranoid about everything...)
 

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Maybe for yourself, since you are so susceptible, it makes sense to see a homeopath or naturopath--someone who will work from the inside out with you, rather than the outside in. Medical doctors don't tend to know nearly as much about prevention as holistic practitioners.
 

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It sounds normal but sort of at the extreme end of normal to me. My daughter started kindy in January so we've had a bit of a delayed response but, since then end of July, we have not all been well at the same time. We are just starting to think we might be over it now. We've had: pertussis, several colds, gastro, pneumonia and middle ear infections. It absolutely sucks and I really feel for you. I hope you come out of it soon.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
katelove and lauren, thanks for the further replies. I have seen an acupuncturist a few times, so maybe I will try that. Ideally I think what would help most is getting more sleep, but between each kid being sick and the baby waking normally as babies do (just to nurse, or because of teething or constipation, etc), my attempts to get more sleep haven't been very effective. katelove, your experiences helps me to feel a bit better. I really hope we are getting to the end of this, but we are all still recovering from the most recent virus (DH and I have both been rejected for flu shots b/c of being sick). I'm just hoping that this time we actually do fully recover, instead of just coming down with something else...
 

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Even though preschool is so good for many things-socialization, academics and so forth--sickness is one of the things we wish we could take away from that experience.

My DD hasn't started school yet, but I'm a teacher so I know how illnesses seem non-stop with kids in a classroom always having close proximity to each other. The best advice I can give you is to start her on Vitamin D, C and probiotic supplements as soon as possible. Actually everyone in your home can take this as an immune system booster.

Around this time of the year I always give up DD's daily vitamin D dosage to around 2000-3000 iu a day. Studies show that most Americans are deficient in vitamin D and when were deficient in that vitamin it lowers our immune system response and opens up the door for illnesses to come in. Also a good vitamin C supplement such as tummies or Hylands is good as well. Probiotics are good bacteria for the gut and again studies show that immune system health begins in your gut. I give my kids Vitamin Code Raw probiotics in powder form.

Hope everyone starts feeling better soon, sick kids are so pitiful.
 
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