Isn’t it hard sometimes to know when to keep your child home from school? It surely is a common question we get at NurseDirect on early school mornings. Kids can be sick during the night but feel fine by morning and a parent wonders what to do. Here are some guidelines to help with your decision making:
- Vomiting and diarrhea: Keep children home until 24 hours free of episodes. An occasional episode of vomiting can be just a fluke, perhaps something just not sitting right, but a second time is grounds for staying home. Diarrhea and school don’t mix.
- Sore throat: This a tough one. A minor sore throat can go to school but if it’s accompanied with stomach upset, headache or fever you should keep your child home.
- Rashes: Many rashes are contagious, especially a generalized one that’s coupled with a fever. In these cases keep the kids home. A localized rash such as ringworm can go to school if covered.
- Lice: These children need to stay home until treated and completely nit free.
- Cold symptoms: Mild runny nose and cough can go to school. Children who’ve been up all night coughing should stay home, as they are most likely too tired to focus at school.
- Pinkeye: Viral pinkeye has the redness, irritation and watery discharge and is mildly contagious. These kids can go to school however if eye gets goopy yellow drainage, they should stay home and see a doctor.
- Fever: Any child with any of the above symptoms accompanied by a fever or a fever of more than 100.4 without any other symptoms should be kept home.
These are guidelines that most likely include most schools protocols. Check your school student handbook or school office for additional information. Talk with your doctor if these symptoms continue or worsen. The kids that stay home with these symptoms should be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to school. Call NurseDirect (1-800-362-9900) with any questions or contact a local Affinity or Ministry pediatrician.