When should my sick child stay home? This is a difficult question that parents are often faced with. We have employers who are not always understanding that little Johnny is sick and you need to stay home with him. You may be worried that your child will fall too far behind in school. It can be difficult deciding whether to keep a sick child home or send him to school or daycare.
Here are some basic guidelines to help you decide if your sick child should stay home:
Fever – If your child has a fever that is 100.4 degrees orally or 99.4 degrees rectally, you should keep him or her home. Fever is commonly a symptom of viral infections. A child should be fever free, without medication, for 24 hours before returning to school or daycare.
Cough/Cold Symptoms – If your child has a mild cough and/or runny nose, with no fever, they should be okay to go to school or daycare. However, if your child has a bad cough they should stay home and possibly see a doctor. As this can be a symptom of a sever cold, bronchitis, the flu or pneumonia.
Diarrhea or Vomiting – Keep your child home until 24 hours after the last episode.
A Skin Rash – Children with a rash should stay home and see a Doctor. A rash can be a possible symptom of an infectious disease.
Sore Throat – Your child is probably fine to go to school with a mild sore throat. However, a severe sore throat could be a symptom of strep throat, even if a fever is not present. With a severe sore throat, a trip to the doctor is in order.
There are some instances when you should always keep your child home and consult a doctor such as an earache, pink eye, if your child is irritable and cries constantly, severe stomach pains, or has difficulty breathing.
If your child is frequently feeling sick during the week and fine on the weekends, you might need do some investigating as this can be sign of a problem at school.
For more information on this topic, you may want to visit Web MD or call your Pediatrician.