When it’s cold outside, children seem to get sick easily. And when winter arrives, illnesses spread like a wildfire! The key to keeping your child well is good healthcare and making sure they aren’t exposed to the germs that cause illness. Your child’s school is one place where a lot of people are together and sharing germs is common. That’s why the schools always tell parents to keep kids at home when they are sick.
When is your child too sick for school?
Knowing if your child is too sick for school isn’t easy. Sometimes a cough is just a cough, other times it’s something more serious and every cough is spreading germs. The only way to know if your child is well enough to attend school is by looking at more than one sign of illness.
- Fever. If your child has a fever of any kind, he or she needs to stay home. When your child is running a fever, it’s a sign that the body is trying to fight off germs or an infection like the flu. Keep your child at home until the fever is gone for a full day.
- Diarrhea. This is also caused by an infection. It could be food poisoning or even some medications that cause diarrhea. It also causes dehydration because the body is losing a lot of water. It’s not easy to sit in your seat when you have an achy stomach and need frequent restroom breaks so definitely no school.
- Vomiting. This is one way the body gets rid of germs but it’s also the way germs are spread to others. Vomiting is another sign that the body is trying to fight off an infection or stomach virus. If your child has vomited 2 times in one day, they need to stay home.
- Cough and cold. Many times parents will let the child go to school if it’s just a cold. A slightly runny nose or occasional cough. But if your child has a cough that is frequent, or difficult to stop, it may be something more serious. Whooping cough, bronchitis or even croup cause coughing and are easily spread to others through the coughing.
- Sore throat. While this may just be a sign of a slight cold, it could also be the sign of something more serious like strep throat. If your child complains of a sore throat that seems to be getting worse, he or she should visit the doctor to be tested for strep. And if they have strep, no school until he or she has had medicine for a full day and night.
- Red, scratchy eyes. Sometimes eyes can look red or be irritated because of allergies or a cold. But sometimes, it’s pinkeye. Pinkeye is caused by germs on hands and the hands rub the eyes. The germs get into the eye and causes an infection. If you see puss or crust around the eye, this is a sure sign that it’s more than an allergy. Your child will need to see a doctor for medication, and they need to have the medication for a full day and night before returning to school.
As a parent, you know your child best. When you think your child is too sick for school, they probably are. It’s better to keep a child at home than to risk making others in the classroom sick.
If you need help getting healthcare for your child, please contact us.