Protect your college student against common campus illnesses

We're getting settled into another year at school. If you have a kid in college, there are some common college illnesses to look out for.

College is a whole new world for teens. It also opens the door to a host of new germs and illnesses, especially for students living in dorms.

"The fact that you've got a large number of people indoors, in close proximity to each other makes it easier to spread germs." Dr. Michelle Gourdine says there are two common illnesses that are the most dangerous, the flu and meningitis.

If your college student hasn't already been vaccinated, make sure it gets done.

Dr. Gourdine says the same goes for the HPV vaccine. "HPV is a virus that's the most common cause of cervical cancer and warts in college aged students and adolescents."

College is a good time to practice common hygiene as well. Dr. Gourdine says, "Wash you hands, mom was right, don't share drinks with each other.. Friends tend to drink a soda and pass it along to another friend that's not a good idea."

There's another condition that sometimes gets overlooked, stress. Dr. Gourdine says "college students tend to have a lot of pressure on them it's a new environment they're dealing with the demands of going to classes and studying probably harder than they've ever had to and parents and kids have to look out for warning signs of stress."

Those warning signs include depression or withdrawing from friends. If you see those signs, your kid might need help.

Dr. Gourdine says "If you feel like your class demands are too heavy, it's ok to drop a class you don't need to put that added pressure on yourself. And make sure you allow yourself some time to take a break and enjoy college and feeling all that pressure."
 

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