There’s nothing that sends a mother into panic mode during the week like when her child complains of feeling ill. At this point, you have to quickly decide whether to send them to school or keep them home.
Keeping your child home, could also mean missing work. So, how can you tell when to keep your sick child home from school – especially now, with the cold and flu season kicking in?
Sometimes it seems like a good idea to send your sick child to school if he/she has a minor sniffle. However, most times, all you child needs is bed rest. Giving your child a big dose of ibuprofen before drop off won’t when they’ve picked up something contagious is not fair to the other children.
So, how do you know which symptoms classify as contagious?
Headaches and fever: Clear signs that something is wrong
The first thing you have to check for is a fever. It’s a sign that the body is fighting the germs that are making your child sick. Use a thermometer or the back of your hand against the forehead to check. If the temperature is 38.2 °C or higher, wait until your child is fever-free for at least 24 hours before sending her back to school.
And while experts disagree on whether a child should be kept home, a headache is often a symptom of something more contagious, like flu, strep throat and meningitis. Therefore, if your child’s headache doesn’t go away after a few hours, take her to the doctor just to be safe.
Other symptoms you have to look for include rashes, flu-like symptoms, pinkeye and diarrhea. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration and the other three are highly contagious. Keep your child at home until all symptoms subside.
Bottom line: If your child is not well enough to get much out of school, keep him/her at home. You can use these same rules to decide when to take sick leave from work.