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Those repeat colds

justhismomjusthismom Posts: 216Registered User Junior Member
edited February 2008 in Parent Cafe
Is this situation something all freshmen college kids go through or is it my sons bad luck?
Within first week of school back in Sept S gets nasty sinus infection which finally clears up after about a week.
Right around finals time he starts to feel a cold coming on. Survives finals and comes home for break. By Christmas he is sick yet again and this time has to be on antibiotics for 5 days (the zip pac). He gets all rested up and is fine by New Years Day. S goes back to college on the 7th to get settled in for intersession that starts this week. I call him this evening and his first words are " I am sick with a nasty cold". What is ironic is he is the one who suggested that he needs to take vitamin C and a daily vitamin in hopes to fight any colds. So much for that.
I know that the dorms are not the healthiest places on campus but it seems to me that someone there is always sick and all it takes is one to get it. I don't remember (selective memory?) him ever having this many colds and sinus issues during his school years. The only good thing I guess is that he seems to bounce back fairly quickly. And in the meantime I lose sleep and worry about him. Of course the mom in me wants to ask a lot of questions about symptons, is he eating and getting enough fluids and to remind him to wash his sheets in hot water once he feels better. Of course he is too miserable to talk to me so all of this goes unanswered. Sorry to rant but I get frustrated when he is not feeling so good and is away from home.
Post edited by justhismom on
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Replies to: Those repeat colds

  • corrangedcorranged Posts: 6,684Registered User Senior Member
    I had a sort of lingering cold all freshman year, but I didn't have any infections. A couple of colds went around my college in the fall, but so far nothing since winter break. I think colds and minor infections are pretty common. College students aren't just in close quarters: they're also under stress, not eating properly, sleep-deprived, drinking all weekend, hooking up with random people who may be sick, etc.

    He should be fine if it's just a cold, though. Of course if his symptoms get a lot worse, he develops a fever for more than a day, or he thinks he needs to, he should go in to the student health center and get checked out.
  • oldfortoldfort Posts: 16,933Registered User Senior Member
    My daughter also got sick 3 times this fall. I think there is just so much germ on campus, and I also think those kids share food and drinks. I told my kid to stop sharing, I got her an air purifier for her room, and I just called the school to clean their bathrooms more often. But I think whenever we change our environment, it takes a while for our immune system to get used to it. When I first moved from upstate NY (college) to NYC, I was sick with nasty nasal infection for 2 years. Now, my body can take any germs after NYC.
  • justhismomjusthismom Posts: 216Registered User Junior Member
    Yes that about sums it up. The only good thing now is that there is no stress since classes haven't started yet. The one time last fall he went to the student health center they told him he had a 'dorm cold'. He survived with Advil Cold and Sinus
    I thought my office was the worst since everyone comes to work when they are sick, but apparently college is no better.
  • oldfortoldfort Posts: 16,933Registered User Senior Member
    Random hookup - I didn't think of that. I should tell my daughter not to do that. This is as good of reason as any.
  • justhismomjusthismom Posts: 216Registered User Junior Member
    being the mom I kind of read over that reason real fast. All of the others I can definately see happening.
  • momof2incamomof2inca Posts: 3,484Registered User Senior Member
    Could there be mold in the building? Are other kids suffering something similar? Sometimes allergies can lead to sinusitis... just a thought.
  • srwsrw Posts: 1,477Registered User Senior Member
    I agree there could be mold or other problems where he spends alot of time. Lysol spray! I tell my S wash hands, wash hands, wash hands... all of the time, I don't know if he listens. If it is allergies or a reactions to molds try a Neti Pot or Neil med system, really makes a huge difference. Also we have found at the start of any symptoms we start taking Zicam swabs and Airborn. The last cold S had only lasted 3 or 4 days and I haven't had a cold in a long time, I don't want to say how long because I don't want to jinx it, but lets say a surprisingly long time. If he's tired of being sick so much he may be ready to try some of these preventative measures.
  • justhismomjusthismom Posts: 216Registered User Junior Member
    thanks for all the replies. Turns out it was some type of 24 hour thing he said is going around and he is feeling much better. Every care package I send I include the hand sanitizer so hopefully he continues to use them.
    We will see if he took my suggestion that he wash his sheets since he laid in them sick for 24 hours. He never thought of that, but he is the child who didn't change them from September to after Thanksgiving break.
  • Singersmom07Singersmom07 Posts: 3,327Registered User Senior Member
    All those new germs - it is like kindergarten again. They will build the immunity to the new place, but then everyone goes home and brings a new set of germs back. It gets better.. Meanwhile, hand sanitizer is one and if it is an S too much to hope that they are cleaning the room - clorox wipes on handles and surfaces that others touch, and washing their pillow case at least. Throw away the toothbrush. wash the cup. I know I was talking to the brick wall with all three Ss, DD does it all though. Still got sick once or twice, it is just too much to expect otherwise. Just think, it will build their immune system eventually.
  • coureurcoureur Posts: 11,386Registered User Senior Member
    >>Of course the mom in me wants to ask a lot of questions about symptons, is he eating and getting enough fluids and to remind him to wash his sheets in hot water once he feels better. <<

    These are all good, but the single factor that will help more than washing his sheets or taking vitamin C is getting enough SLEEP. The big life-style change that nearly all college students undergo is taking on a mondo case of sleep deprivation. In an otherwise healthy college student, the recurrent cold cycle can almost always be cured with decent food and especially regularly getting enough sleep.
  • maysixxmommaysixxmom Posts: 697Registered User Member
    I was the queen of the sinus infection for years until a young doctor in a clinic I always visited for these infections told me to take sudafed (i use a generic) as a maintenance drug. Following this advise has taken me from 3-4 infections a year to less than 1 a year.
  • LilyMoonLilyMoon Posts: 1,715Registered User Senior Member
    My S has also gotten his share of ills at college. Our best miracle cure is Emergen-C. It's a packet that dissolves in water or juice that is sold in health food stores and some supermarkets. My S takes it 2-3 times a day at first symptom of a cold or sore throat and it usually kicks it out real fast. It really does work miracles.

    Of course, as mentioned before, the lack of sleep and horrible college food contributes to a lowered immune system. In conjunction with that, kids living on top of each other and the lack of cleanliness in the dorms/bathrooms contribute to illnesses.

    I understand how hard it is to be far away from your child when they are sick and feel helpless to do anything to help them. I feel the same way! Send a care package and hang in there until the next vacation break.
  • umaineguyumaineguy Posts: 10Registered User New Member
    Everyone here keeps suggesting to wash sheets, replace toothbrushes, cups etc. While that may be sanitary and help keep other kids healthy, it will do nothing for someone who has already had the virus. The body has already built an immunity to that virus. A pillowcase may carry some of the strain but your son will not be "reinfected" from it.

    New virus strains emerge from a process known as antigen shift. It takes time. There's no perpetual transmission of sickness between a group of people isolated people. Once everyone has experienced a particular strain, it's over.

    Is it a commuter school? People that go home probably carry in new viruses every one in awhile.

    College trains not only your mind, but your body!
  • MarianMarian Posts: 9,335Registered User Senior Member
    Unfortunately, sleep is no guarantee of immunity to college diseases.

    My freshman daughter, who was blessed with a single room this year, sleeps much more than she ever did in high school. (No leaving for the bus at 6:15!! Yay!) Nevertheless, she has been sick several times. Germs just fly around a college dorm.
  • ebeeeeeebeeeee Posts: 5,199Registered User Senior Member
    Airborne works wonders.
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