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Health news and blog

    Back-to-School and Childhood Illnesses

    Back-to-School and Childhood Illnesses


    Every parent has been there. Your child wakes up at 2 am and they’re sick with…something. It’s two weeks into a new school year, so you’re sure it’s something they picked up from another kid. You know there’s a good chance that whatever your child has, they’re going to give it to you and every kid in their class.

    When this happens to you, Intermountain Connect Care is available 24/7/365 to help you take care of your family. Here are 7 common illnesses we see around back-to-school time.


    Connect Care is a great place if you think you or your child has allergies. Providers can discuss symptoms and offer over-the-counter and prescription treatment options as needed.

    If your child is having a sudden allergic reaction due to a medication, food, or bug bite/sting, Connect Care is not the best place to be seen. Please go to the nearest emergency room for evaluation and treatment.


    Children are especially susceptible to the common cold. It can occur any time of year and is often a miserable experience for parents and children alike. With Connect Care, parents can easily and efficiently receive an evaluation of their child’s symptoms and guidance on how best to manage the symptoms.


    While often a symptom of the common cold, a cough can also be related to serious illnesses including croup, asthma, or pneumonia. Through Connect Care, parents can gain insight on the nature of their child’s cough and receive appropriate treatment.

    Eye Infections, including Pink Eye

    Connect Care is a great place to get a preliminary evaluation for eye symptoms. An eye infection can be caused by anything from allergies to infections and range from a minor to a serious problem. 
    Treatment might include symptomatic care with over-the-counter medications or antibiotic drops in the event of a bacterial infection. If there are other concerning symptoms, we can help get you to the right care setting promptly.


    We all know the basic flu symptoms: a fever, body aches, and fatigue. While getting a flu shot helps lessen the severity of symptoms, some kids still get sick. Connect Care providers can help you determine if you’re facing the flu, and guide you on treatment options to help your little one be as comfortable as possible while they get better.

    Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

    Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is a common viral infection – especially among young children whose post-potty hygiene isn’t perfect. Once they have it, they can spread it like any other disease. While the symptoms may be flu-like, HFMD is usually identified by a rash or sores around the mouth.

    Sore Throat

    Sore throat sounds like a straight-forward diagnosis, but while many patients think they need an antibiotic for their sore throats, nearly 90% of sore throats are caused by a cold or the flu. These are viral infections, which don't need an antibiotic.

    In some cases, a sore throat can be caused by bacteria — the dreaded strep throat — which does require antibiotics for treatment.

    At Intermountain Healthcare, we are careful to only prescribe antibiotics when they are really needed, and thus require testing to prove that bacteria is the cause. Testing involves a throat swab—something that can’t be done over a video connection.

    Depending on where you live, the provider may be able to arrange for you to have a strep test and a prescription (if necessary) waiting for you at an Intermountain lab and pharmacy without the need for another medical evaluation. Connect Care providers can discuss medications to help you feel better while we arrange for appropriate testing.

    No matter what illness your kid brings home, Connect Care is here for you – on weekends, holidays and even the middle of the night. For more information, click here.