Getting sick is an inevitable part of living on your own, and dormitories in particular can be a breeding ground for contagious diseases. Airborne illnesses spread quickly when one's living quarters are 10-ft. wide. Sneeze, cough and whoosh, one's roommate has it. And college kids are notorious for sharing food, glasses and, well, kisses. So a key ingredient in helping your child prepare for independent life, whether it’s away at college or simply living on his own, is preparing him to take care of his own health.
It starts with making sure your child is in good health, well-prepared and well-equipped before he even leaves home, says Dr. Joel Forman, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Community and Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and a member of About.com's medical review board. And the "what to do when you do get sick" discussion needs to begin before your child leaves, not when he's sobbing on the phone with a 103-degree temperature and raging sore throat.
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