Richmond Practice - Do all babies get persistently ill from nursery?

Do all babies get persistently ill from nursery?

Starting nursery usually brings a lot of exciting development for parents and their children. Unfortunately, there is also a downside: Children get recurrent infections and parents can catch their illnesses too! This could happen without there being an underlying immune system deficiency.
Twelve to 14 episodes of acute infection (upper respiratory tract infection, middle ear infection, diarrhoea and vomiting) in one year are considered normal. First-born children are often more prone to infections and international families can also experience additional problems. Infants will enjoy immunity from antibodies transferred from their mother, but this protection slowly subsides towards the end of the first year of life.  The upside is that frequent infections train the immune system and make it stronger to tackle viruses and bacteria once a child grows up. Recurrent infections are a normal step in your child’s development.
Common sense strategies to prevent illnesses:
  • get your child vaccinated according to the recommended schedule.
  • ensure your child gets enough fresh air.
  • a healthy balanced diet can help. Vitamin A and C as well as iron, zinc and folate are particularly important. We recommend taking Vitamin D during the winter months.
  • an adequate amount of sleep supports immunity. Children need between 1 to 3 years usually need 11-12 hours of sleep, from 4 to 6 years 10-11 hours.
  • a smoke-free environment is crucial for healthy airways.
  • plan ahead to allow enough time free to support your child when they start nursery.
Consult your doctor if your child:
  • has had several infections in one year with the need for antibiotics
  • do not respond do antibiotics
  • has chronic fungal infections
  • does not gain weight properly
  • has a family history of immune deficiency
  • may have an inborn defect of its immune system
  • is unwell to rule-out any underlying issues, prevent dehydration and assess for bacterial infections requiring antibiotics
Allergies can mimic or aggravate respiratory symptoms such as cough and difficulty breathing. A doctor can help you diagnose whether an allergy is the cause of the problem and how to treat them.

At Elsbeth's Doctors we offer the services of consultant paediatricians and private GPs from Monday to Saturday.  There are three experienced paediatricians in the practice who has substantive capacity to support your family while your child settles in to their new nursery. We offer all child-hood immunisations, including chickenpox, Meningitis and BCG where this is not available on the NHS. Our doctors are multi-lingual and have knowledge of other health care systems.

For a same day appointment please contact us on 030 0303 5009 or at Or book online.