When Is an Illness Contagious?
Article Translations: (Spanish)
How do you know when a child's illness is in the contagious stage? I run a daycare and would like to take the right precautions at the right time when kids get sick.
Most viral illnesses are contagious before a person has any symptoms. So an infected child can spread a virus before feeling sick. This makes it almost impossible to stop the spread of infections.
Some childhood rashes — such as hand, foot, and mouth disease, chickenpox, and ringworm — spread through skin-to-skin contact. So kids with a rash should avoid contact with others until the spots crust over.
- after playing outside
- before eating
- after going to the bathroom
- after coughing or sneezing
Also, teach the kids in your daycare to cover their coughs and sneezes. If they don't have a tissue handy, they should cough or sneeze into an elbow, not their hands.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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