Many parents struggle with the question of whether or not they should keep their child home sick from school or daycare. How sick is too sick for you kid to go to school? If your child has a runny nose but is otherwise feeling fine, is it still okay to send him or her What about if they had a fever at night, but are completely fine the next morning?
According to a physician at the Mayo clinic, children should stay home from school with any of the following symptoms:
- If your kid vomits two or more times in 24 hours or if they’re unable to keep food or liquids down without getting sick.
- If they have fever with a temperature of 101 (or higher).
- When your child has a bad cough or if they’re having trouble breathing.
- If your child has severe diarrhea more than once a day that’s lasted for a day or more.
- When your kiddo has bad abdominal pain that won’t go away.
- A child with open sores on their mouth should stay home from class.
- If your kid shows up with a rash or eye redness and you aren’t sure what’s causing it.
- Lice, scabies, and or other contagious conditions are also reasons to stay home.
If you end up deciding to keep your child home, your very next question may be, “When is OK to send him or her back to school?” The answer to this question depends on the reason why your child is home sick in the first place. For most illnesses, it’s OK to send your child back to school or daycare when they’re feeling better and will be able to learn and participate. For some conditions, especially ones that are contagious, there are a few common guidelines on when your kiddo is ready to go back to class:
- If your child has a fever over 101, keep them home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without medication.
- A child with the highly contagious bacterial form of pink eye (called conjunctivitis) should stay home until they’ve been on antibiotics for 24 hours.
- Children with strep throat will need antibiotics to treat the infection and should take antibiotics for 24 hours before returning to school.
Schools and daycares often have detailed policies on when children should stay home. These guidelines give the sick child time to rest and get better and also help prevent the spread of contagious disease.
If you’re ever unsure about whether or not your child should go to school or if you’re concerned about his or her symptoms, it’s always a good idea to contact your child’s pediatrician.
TapGenes Take Away: Deciding when to keep your child home from school can be difficult. Use this and your gut as a guide and call your child’s pediatrician if you’re concerned.