Sick Kids Sick Parents

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 2:15pm

Study finds kids bounce back faster from colds and illnesses their parents have a harder time coping with.

Kids in school and daycare swap germs as often as they do crayons.

Just like that drawing your child brings home from school germs don't stay in the lines...they spread.

"You're a parent, your job is to take care of this child, you're going to love them you're going to be intimate with them, and in all likelihood you're going to catch some colds as well," said Dr. Andrew Hertz, a pediatrician at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.

He says there are no documented studies on how often illnesses spread from children to their parents, but he sees it all the time.

"If a parent hasn't been exposed to a virus in a certain number of years then they are going to be more susceptible," said Hertz.

Kids' immune systems are brand new and are revved up to fight infection.

Adults, on the other hand, are not as prepared to handle a virus.

They get less exercise, they don't sleep as much and they are less likely to take care of themselves when they are sick.

It all adds up to mom or dad or both continuing to fight a cold their child got over weeks ago.

"Treat yourself as you would treat your child. So if you start to get sick, lots and lots of fluids and some rest, it'll help you bounce back quite a bit more," said Hertz.

And teaching kids how to prevent catching at cold in the first place could keep the entire family healthy.

Doctors say a majority of illnesses are spread when people touch their nose or eyes.

If you keep your hands washed and off your face, you have a good shot at staying healthy this cold and flu season.

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