So your kid barely had the sniffles this past year. Will that last?

COVID-19 protocols dramatically decreased how often children got sick. Here’s what it will take to keep that up.

With three preschool-age kids, Corinne McDaniels-Davidson is very familiar with illness.

In past years, she’s seen regular outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease; croup; pink eye; and even scabies—not to mention constant colds, coughs, and flus. “It was just rampant and constant,” she says of the revolving door of disease that’s simply a given when kids attend school together.

Then the family locked down in March 2020. In the fall, McDaniels-Davidson, who’s also the director of the Institute for Public Health at San Diego State University, sent her kids back to the preschool, which had adopted smaller class sizes, better air filtration, a strict no-illness policy, and masks for teachers and kids two and up.

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