Before I had my son, I got a cold around twice a year. It would annoy me for a few days and maybe even cause me to take a day off work to rest at home. My husband would only get a cold maybe one time a year.
Then we had our son.
Every time he was moved into a new room at the daycare or a new child came into his existing room, he would get sick. New child = new germs. And my husband and I would often get his colds/stomach viruses, too.
Now that he is a little older he doesn't get sick as often, but it still happens. I think he spent most of July with a nasal virus that took several weeks to completely kill off.
Most parents understand that their children will get sick. And most parents accept that the more children they have, the more likelihood there is for someone in their household to always be sick. But the frequency of sickness is something I think most parents are not prepared for.
A study by the University of Utah followed sicknesses in families of various sizes. In those with only one child, a family member tested positive for a nasal virus for 18 weeks out of the year. For families with six children, the number of weeks went up to 45.
Granted, this is only one study in one area of the country, but if more studies were done that corroborated its results, it would provide some relief to parents who are wondering, "Why is my child sick all the time? Is this normal?" If your doctor knows that you have a large family, they would be able to say to you, "Based off your family size, yes, it is."
Who is always sick in your family? Spread the love (not the germs) with me in the comments.