How to Determine if Your Child is Too Sick For School

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When is your child too sick to go to school? If most parents left it up to their child, some may never go to school. You do not want to risk your child getting sicker or infecting other students, but many parents cannot stay home from work in order to care for a sick child. Here are some tips on how to know if you need to take a sick day in order to stay home with your child.


A fever is an indication of your child being sick. Do not just give your child some Tylenol and send them off to school. Most likely, the school nurse will be calling for you to come get your child. A child should be free of fever for at least 24 hours before returning to school.


Taking an antibiotic for an already diagnosed problem like a throat infection or ear infection does not mean the child needs to be home. If the child has been on antibiotics for 24 hours and has no fever you can send the child to school as long as they are feeling well enough.


Keep your child home! Young children can get dehydrated quickly and diarrhea is uncomfortable and can come on quickly. For your child’s well-being and to avoid embarrassment, keep them home and send them back when the bout of diarrhea is over.


The same rules apply as for diarrhea. Once they are not vomiting for 24 hours and feel strong enough to go back to school, then they are probably okay to go.


An unknown rash, accompanied by a fever or no fever could be something contagious. Have it checked out by your child’s doctor.


A severe cough that keeps your child from being able to function is not only disruptive to other children but will make your child very uncomfortable. It is better to keep them home so you can treat their cough and get them well.

A child who constantly complains of stomachaches, headaches or generally not feeling well may have psychological issues for trying to avoid school. Talk to your child’s teacher and your child to try and determine why they are avoiding attending school.

Always listen to your doctor’s recommendations for how to treat your child’s illness. If you question whether your child is well enough to be in school, ask your child’s doctor for advice. As long as the child feels well enough, is not contagious and has been seen by a doctor, he/she can probably attend school.


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