Nurse’s Notes: Is My Child Too Sick To Go To School?
A common dilemma that parents face is “when should I keep my child home from school?” It’s not easy as parents more and more today are juggling the responsibilities of family and work. Here are some guidelines to follow.
Know the difference between a cold and the flu:
- Flu is a serious illness and symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, or muscle aches. With the flu, symptoms come on very quickly. It is advised to contact the doctor if these symptoms are present.
- Symptoms of a common cold include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, and hacking cough. Often, cold symptoms come on gradually. Although the common cold is usually not serious, if symptoms are severe, it is a good idea to keep your child home to rest, rather than spread the cold to other children at school.
Keep your child home from school if:
- He has a fever. This means a temperature 100 degrees or higher.
- She has vomited. Keep your child home until they are symptom free for 24 hours and able to tolerate solid foods
- He has diarrhea. Encourage good hand washing to prevent the spread to other family members. Keep your child home until they are symptom free for 24 hours and able to tolerate solid foods.
- She is coughing frequently or having any sort of breathing trouble.
- He has a rash that is spreading. Check with your child’s doctor to see if it is contagious before sending your child back to school.
In order to help prevent the spread of the disease in school, students with a fever equal to or greater than 100 degrees cannot return to school until they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of medications to reduce fever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen.
GOOD HAND WASHING IS THE NUMBER ONE PREVENTION.