Common Back To School Illnesses - Premier Pediatric Urgent Care Provider in Texas - Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care

Common Back To School Illnesses

  • August 17, 2022
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Common Back To School Illnesses - Premier Pediatric Urgent Care Provider in Texas - Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care

It’s back to school time! Here is an overview of some common illnesses that quickly spread this time of year:

Hand Foot and Mouth

HFM is a common viral illness for children. It is most common in kiddos under seven years of age.

  • Common Symptoms:
    • The most common symptoms of HFM disease are fever, mouth/throat painful sores, and rash. The rash, as the name implies, is present on the hands, feet, and face; however, it can also occur on other areas of the body, especially the buttocks.
  • How To Prevent:
    • Frequent hand washing is key to preventing the spread of this virus.
    • Young children sharing toys (and putting toys in their mouths) or sharing cups is also a way this is spread.
  • How To Treat:
    • Treatment of hand, foot and mouth disease consists of supportive measures/symptom management. Antibiotics will not treat this illness. Pain can be managed with acetaminophen and ibuprofen as needed.
  • When Can They Go Back To School?
    • Once they have been fever-free for 24 hours they can return to school even if they still have the rash or mouth sores.

Head Lice

Head lice is are tiny, wingless insects that spread through close human-to-human contact.

  • Common Symptoms
    • Itchy scalp and presence of lice or nits (lice eggs)
  • How To Prevent
    • Encourage them not to borrow their classmates’ hats, scarves, combs, or anything that touches the head. For athletes: do not share helmets or towels.
    • Keep their jackets and winter gear separate from other students (a different coat hook, or in their backpacks).
    • Avoid head-to-head contact with classmates.
    • Do not try on hats in department stores. It is possible for lice to be passed this way. If you buy a hat from a store, let it sit for at least two days before wearing it. Lice can only survive for 48 hours without a host. If you can’t wait, wash the hat in hot water.
  • How To Treat
    • Confirm the presence of lice with your child’s pediatrician and they can recommend different medicated shampoos to use such as NIX Lice Killing Crème Rinse. This, along with combing out the hair can typically kill all the lice.
  • When Can They Go Back To School?
    • After treatment has begun


Skin infection that is very common among children. It typically begins as a skin injury that becomes infected.

  • Common Symptoms
    • Red pimples, blisters, and an oozing rash to face, hands, legs, and diaper area
  • How To Prevent
    • Frequent handwashing and cleaning of the injury
    • Impetigo frequently spreads through face painting. Ensure a new brush is being used for each child, or the brushes are being thoroughly disinfected.
  • How To Treat
    • Depending on the size of the rash, an oral or topical antibiotic will be prescribed
  • When Can They Go Back To School?
    • 24 hours after starting treatment, as long as the infected area is covered


Contagious, itchy skin condition caused by tiny mites called Sarcoptes scabiei.

  • Common Symptoms
    • Intense itching (especially at night) and a pimple-like skin rash. The mites can often be seen on the skin.
  • How To Prevent
    • Teach your child to not share personal items and teach frequent handwashing
    • Frequently wash your child’s coats and backpacks
    • Periodically check your child for rashes
  • How To Treat
    • A scabicides will be prescribed
  • When Can They Go Back To School?
    • After treatment

Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care opened in 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. With multiple locations in San Antonio and Dallas, they are open seven days a week with extended evening hours and see walk-in patients or through an online check-in system. They accept most commercial insurance and Medicaid plans.

Article By: Alicia Tezel, MD, FAAP, FCUCM

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