Too sick for school?

A sniffle. A cough. A sore throat. Your child is bound to come down with some kind of illness during the course of their life.

How do you know when to keep your child from school?

Ask yourself -

  1. Does my child have a fever? Fevers of 37.5 degrees Celsius or more are generally a sign of illness, so it is better for your child to stay home.
  2. Is my child well enough to participate in class? If she seems too run down to get much out of her lessons and will not be able to participate comfortably in activities, keep her home.
  3. Does she have an illness like the flu or pinkeye? If you are uncertain and think she might, do not let her go back to school until you have consulted your doctor.

When Your Child Is Sick

Here’s what you need to keep an eye on:

A fever is a good indicator that your body is fighting the germs that are making you sick. It’s a common warning sign of infections like flu. If it’s 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher, the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) advises keeping them home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.

Diarrhoea is usually caused by a virus that infects the gut. Some people call it "intestinal flu" or "stomach flu." It can lead to dehydration, so give your child large amount of fluids to drink. Keep your child home until her stools are solid and your doctor gives the OK. It typically lasts two to three days, and if you need to treat it, there are over-the-counter medicines obtainable without a prescription.

Vomiting is another way our bodies try to get rid of unwanted germs. A common cause of this is a stomach virus or an infection. Keep your child at home if she has vomited twice or more in the last 24 hours. She can go back to school after her symptoms clear up or the doctor says she’s no longer contagious.

A severe cough and cold. A serious cough could be a symptom of contagious conditions like whooping cough, viral bronchitis, or croup. It can also be a warning sign of asthma or allergies. Rather consult your doctor before sending her off to school.

Sore throats can be a symptom of a common cold or strep. If you think it is a mild cold, your child can go to school. Strep throat, which is an infection due to streptococcus bacteria, is often more severe and persists. Keep your child at home for at least 24 hours after she starts antibiotics.

Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is definitely contagious and your child should stay home for at least 24 hours after treatment begins. Symptoms include eye redness, irritation, swelling, and pus.

Headaches can be a symptom of contagious illness like the stomach flu, meningitis, flu and strep throat. If there are no other signs of illness present and your child feels fine, she can go to school.

Rashes can be an indication of a contagious illness like chickenpox, bacterial meningitis, or impetigo (a skin infection). To be safe, keep your child home until the rash has been diagnosed. Your doctor will give you the OK if she can head back to the classroom or after the symptoms have disappeared.

Earaches aren't contagious. There's no need to keep a child with a mild earache home, as long as she can participate comfortably in activities.



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