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Should she stay or should she go? When to keep kids home from school

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. Continue Reading »

Take the irritation out of poison ivy

When I was young, we lived in the country in an old farmhouse with a big, hilly yard. Our yard was perfect for playing in except for one problem: In a section along the road covering about a 7-by-2 foot strip, grew those familiar, almost cute-looking, three- leaved weeds. Yes, it was the formidable poison ivy.

We were told to stay away from the treacherous plants, but of course we didn’t. Surprisingly none of my family ever got a rash from it…ever. We never knew why. Call it dumb luck I guess because my visiting cousins would get it after a few days of playing hide-and-seek in the dark. Yikes! They would always leave our house itching and scratching.

Sometimes people can have or develop an immunity to poison ivy, but don’t count on it! Remember Murphy’s Law? Better to error on the side of caution with this little weed.

What is poison ivy?
Poison ivy often grows in patches, but it can also be scattered. It has three leaves with jagged or smooth edges, some shiny and some not, with colors varying from green to red. It can grow in wooded areas, fields, yards –everywhere its seed gets spread. Familiarize yourself with it so you can watch out for it and avoid contact. Continue Reading »

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