The words any parent doesn’t want to hear – “Mommy I don’t feel good.” Oh great now your perfectly planned schedule of juggling a career, grocery shopping, maybe a lunch date with a friend just got thrown out the window because the first thing you think of is “She’s going to have to stay home from school”, which means you will have to stay home from work. But then you think…Hmm…maybe she’s not sick enough to stay home from school? That is the million dollar question.
On the one hand, she’s always got something dripping out of her nose and sniffling. If we kept them home for every time we wiped their nose, they’d never go to school. On the other hand, we for sure don’t want to make them possibly get sicker – or make other kids sick. Calling your child’s pediatrician for advice can never hurt, but also remember most schools have guidelines to follow.
First and foremost Fevers are a HUGE no no. If your child has a fever they do not go to school…period. A fever is any temperature of 100.4 Fahrenheit or greater. Your child will need to be fever-free for a minimum of 24-hours before she can return to school. Please do yourself a favor and DON’T PUMP THEM FULL OF TYLENOL to mask the fever and then send them to school. You’re risking making your child much more sick and infecting the rest of the school.
A small intermediate cough or sniffle usually isn’t enough to keep them home, but if it’s a bad cough and the mucus is thick, messy and gross…it’s best to keep them home for the day and see how they do.
The dreaded throwing up and, or diarrhea. Just talking about this one makes me feel stomach sick. This is an immediate stay home puke free for at least 24 hrs. after the last episode, not from the first time they threw up. Make sure everyone at home washes their hands really well, as stomach bugs tend to be extremely contagious.
Another reason to keep them home no questions asked is head lice. You will have to give the school a call as well so they can ANONYMOUSLY alert the other parents. Anyone can get head lice…don’t be embarrassed. The cleanest person in the world can get lice simply by having contact with someone else who had it. Just get the appropriate shampoo and comb and everything will be find. They can return to school when lice and nit free. Also remember to bad all stuffed animals, pillow cases, blankets and use recommended sprays to clean them. Great….now my head itches.
Just try to use common sense and remember that you know your child best. Ultimately, you get to make the decision. Your pediatrician will be there to guide you if needed.
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