One thing about having kids is that you never realize how important a strong immune system is until you live with people that have half-formed immune systems! In a manner that is, oh so typical of the age, A- (6) got a cough and general malaise in school last week, and spent most of this week out and coughing like a chain-smoker late at night. As she’s getting better, G- (2) has contracted the bug, whatever it is. so we’re deep in the sleepless zone again, and dream of a few good nights of sleep…
It’s really quite interesting how building an immune system is one of the primary functions of kindergarten. Last year, when A- first started kindergarten, she was sick about three days every two weeks (or so it seemed) until she began to gain some immunity to parallel the immunities her classmates were building up. This year has been a lot better — the very first year of school is the worst, from what I’ve heard — but it’s still the case that about two weeks ago one of her classmates was out with a cough, then two or three, and this week over half the class was absent with this bug.
All the little brothers and sisters of the kindergartners have also been skirting this illness, whatever it is. In fact, one of A’s classmates had her cough devolve into pneumonia, though she’s pretty much better by now. Her little brother, who was at our house this morning, has a mild case.
It’s a curious public health phenomenon, and makes me wonder how many first year or two classes for children include any sort of attention paid to improving their little immune systems and/or teaching them healthy life and lifestyle habits. My guess: none.