When to Keep Your Child Home Sick
Our district nurse provided the following guidelines to use when trying to decide whether or not to send your student to school:
School starts in an hour, and your child says s/he doesn't feel well. Should you send her/him to school or keep her/him home? Ask yourself, "If my child were healthy, would I want her/him near someone with these symptoms?" advises Robert Hoekelman, MD, contributing editor of The Merck Manual of Medical Information - Home Edition, who offers the guidelines in the chart below to help you decide what to do. Of course, if symptoms last longer than 24 hours or worsen, call your pediatrician.
From our experience we have learned that sick children seldom, if ever, gain anything by attending school. They are much better off at home where they are most likely to get the necessary care for recovery and early return to school. Keeping ill children at home also protects other children, their parents, and the school staff.
A child should be kept home at least 24 hours after a fever and 24 hours after starting antibiotics.
REMINDER: If your child needs to take medication at school, you need to send a form signed by you and the health care provider with the medication.
| Symptom || Keep Your Child Home If:|
| Fever||She/he has a morning temperature of 100 degrees F or higher, or temperature is below 100 degrees but your child is achy, pale or tired.|
|Tummy Ache||Child has had two or more episodes of vomiting or diarrhea or has had one in the past 24 hours and feels tired or ill.|
|Sneezing or Runny Nose||Child is sneezing a lot, and their nose won't stop running. |
| Sore Throat||Child has tender or swollen glands and a fever of 100 degrees or higher.|
| Cough||Child coughs frequently, coughs up phlegm, or her cough sounds like a bark or is accompanied by a sore throat or wheezing.|
| Earache||Child's pain is constant or severe - a sign of otitis media. |
| Rash||The rash blisters, develops pus, or is uncomfortable. This would signal chicken pox or impetigo. |