Kids are heading back to the classroom, but are they bringing more than homework home?

KGUN 9 spoke with a local pediatrician on back to school illnesses and what parents can expect for the school year.

“I will say that there are days that I might send them with a couple of wipies in their lunchbox,” mother Stephanie Stark shared. “Maybe to wipe down desks or just wipe down the lunch table, just to make sure. Right? After not being here for six weeks.”

Dr. Sean Elliott, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Doctor at Tucson Medical Center, says now’s the time kids might start seeing some of these illnesses.

“So the vomiting viruses, Rotavirus, Noravirus, we will start to see again, some of the respiratory viruses and the flu and RSV are not too far away,” Dr. Elliot explained.

How many times can parents expect their kids to get sick during the school year?

“So, this will surprise many people. The typical average number of infections per year per childhood is 12,” Dr. Elliot said. “That might average out to one per month. So, I will see kids referred to me in my specialty clinic with parents saying they’re sick all the time. In reality that’s actually fairly normal.”

What can you do to help?

Dr Elliot advises making sure your child washes their hands and taking them to a doctor as needed.

Stephanie Stark also had some good advice for parents.

“My kids have been really tired. I see lots of tired kiddos getting back to school,” Stark said. “They need their sleep. And I don’t know if they’re back in that routine yet or not. That’s my number one thing for my kids is making sure they go to bed.”

According to the CDC, children 6 to 12 should get 9 to 12 hours of sleep and teens, 8 to 10.