When To Keep Your Child Home From School
Kids Get Sick
As parents, we know one thing is certain about our children. They are going to get sick. When our tiny humans come to us, they are basically blank slates. That is why we need to teach them everything. Well, our children’s immune systems are also blank slates. Our children are more apt to get sick because their little bodies have not been exposed to all of the viruses and bacteria we adults have. Immunity is built up over time. Most illnesses are not life threatening and are really, more of an annoyance. But there will come a time when we need to decide whether or not your child is too sick to go to school (or daycare, a birthday party, or even a family vacation). Let’s take a look at some considerations to help you make this decision.
Guidelines To Consider
Sometimes, it is real easy to determine if your child needs to stay home. Other times, our children are on a borderline where it appears they could go to school or stay home. This becomes a tough decision as if a child needs to stay home, there are obvious other considerations that need to be factored in like babysitters, urgent care, or even staying home from work ourselves.
Absolute Signs Your Child Should Stay Home
Your child might be experiencing and exhibiting certain symptoms of an illness that should keep them from school no matter what. If your child is exhibiting these symptoms, you really should keep your child at home.
Additionally, if your child has certain illnesses like Chickenpox, Foot and Mouth Disease, Bronchitis, Measles, or COVID, please keep them at home until a medical professional has determined that the illness has gone away or is no longer contagious.
The first step to determining if your child should go to school or not is to look at your child’s school guidelines for coming in sick. Every school has a set of guidelines that should be followed. These guidelines are often found on the school’s website so check there first. If these guidelines are not found on the school’s website, call the school. They will be happy to explain their policy for you as part of their goal to try to stop the spread of an illness in the school.
Should My Child Go To School If They Have A Common Cold
Having a “cold” is very common amongst children. Hence the reason why it’s called a common cold. Symptoms of a common cold can include the sniffles, sore throat, and coughing. If these symptoms are mild and no fever, nausea, or diarrhea are present, then your child should be ok to go to school. But if your child is experiencing symptoms of a common cold as well as loud/excessive coughing, no appetite, or feeling lethargic, then you really should consider keeping the little one at home until they are feeling better. Additionally, if your little human needs constant assistance with their cold like needing help wiping or blowing their nose, or won’t cover their mouth when they cough, then please, take mercy on your child’s teacher and keep them at home.
When Can My Kid Go Back To School?
The easy answer to this is when the child has recovered from the illness. Again, check your school’s guidelines about returning to school after being sick. Here are some other guidelines to consider.
Returning To School After Having A Fever
A child is determined to have a fever if their temperature is above 100.4℉. Most schools require 24 hours to elapse after their fever has dropped back down below 100.4℉. The fever must drop down naturally. It is a very bad idea to give your little human fever-reducing medication and then send them to school as your child’s symptoms may get worse and your child has the potential to spread the illness to their classmates and friends.
Returning To School After Having Nausea
Before your sick child can return to school after throwing up, the child needs to be past the vomiting stage. Otherwise, they will just go to school and continue to throw up creating misery for everyone. After your little one has experienced their reversal of fortune, make sure they lay in bed. If they go an hour without vomiting, then give them a few sips of water. If they make it another hour without vomiting, give them a little more water. If there is continued success after another hour, consider giving them a little food like a cracker or a banana. You may consider a BRAT diet during this time. If they are successful with holding down food and water, they are probably okay to go back to school the next day. If during any part of this recovery process they experience nausea again, you will need to start the treatment process over.
Returning To School After Diarrhea
Diarrhea is often caused by a virus, bacteria, or a parasite. Because of this, it is recommended that you wait 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhea before returning your child to school. The main reason for this is that your child can be contagious for longer with diarrhea than with a cold or flu after the initial reaction. Do not send your child to school on diarrhea medication as the medication does nothing to stop the spread of the illness. Plus, you really don’t want to have to put a teacher in a position to be forced to assist a child with diarrhea or cause undue embarrassment to your little human. It’s best to just wait this one out.
Returning To School After A Deeper Illness
If your child has contracted an illness like chickenpox or COVID, you need to follow your health care professional’s guidelines to safely return to school. Your health care professional is highly trained in dealing with these illnesses and will provide you with a treatment & recovery plan. When your health care professional has determined it is safe for your child to go back to school, then your kid can go back.
Get Care For Your Kid Now
If your little one is experiencing symptoms beyond mild common cold symptoms or the severity of their illness is not going away, it is highly recommended you go visit a health care professional. Your health care professional will be able to analyze, test, and determine what kind of illness your little human has as well as provide a treatment plan to get them back healthy. Your local HealthCARE Express can assist you with treating your child. Our urgent care clinics are ready for walk-in visits and our services have successfully treated many children in our area. See the Locations page on our website to find the urgent care clinic nearest you. Sickness is no fun for anybody involved but we can make it easier and safer for all.