Most parents experience a morning that leaves them stumped when their child wakes up and says they are sick. Do you send them to school or do you keep them at home? Knowing what the right thing to do in these situations can be difficult. If your child is, in fact, sick and contagious, attending school is the last thing they should do. Not only can sending your sick child to school expose other children to his or her sickness, but your child can also be exposed to other germs in the school. When children are sick, their immune systems are suppressed, so it is important to keep them in a sterile environment so they do not catch anything else. We have listed 5 symptoms to look for in your child that will indicate if he or she is too sick to go to school. These will help you make a smarter decision in the midst of morning chaos.
If your child wakes up running a fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, this is an indicator he or she should not attend school. A fever is the body’s natural “fight” response to an illness that is typically contagious. All children should be fever-free for at least 24 hours before going back to school to ensure the infection is sufficiently suppressed, so other students will not be exposed.
2. Diarrhea or Vomiting
A child should never be sent to school if he or she is vomiting or having diarrhea. Bathrooms are already germ-infested areas in schools, but diarrhea and vomiting due to an illness can rapidly spread infectious germs throughout the air. You should wait 24 hours with no diarrhea or vomiting before sending your child back to school.
3. Sore Throat
Strep throat is a major concern in school children. This illness is extremely contagious and can be very dangerous to the child if not treated properly. If your child is complaining of a sore throat and has any other strep or flu-related symptoms, it is crucial that you keep him or her at home until you’ve seen a doctor.
4. Physical Abnormalities
All sickness isn’t just inside our bodies. Some highly contagious illnesses that are rampant in school children are able to be seen with the naked eye, such as chickenpox, pink eye, and HFMD (hand, foot, and mouth disease). If you notice any sores or blisters that resemble chickenpox or HFMD on your child’s skin, or you see redness or discharge in one of your child’s eyes, keep them at home and get medical assistance immediately.
If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, visit your local First Care Clinic. No appointment is needed! Simply walk into our office, and we will have your child feeling better in no time.