All parents have had those mornings when their kid saunters into the room with their head hanging low and says the words they dread: “I don’t feel good.”
Such a situation calls for some very quick thinking. To send them to school, or not to send them to school? That is the question. Fortunately, there is pretty much a five-point checklist of major symptoms that parents can go by to determine if their child can tough it out or if they need a sick day.
Fevers are a big red flag. If your child has a fever of over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, then they should stay home. Even if the fever seems to break, it needs to stay away for at least 24 hours before returning to school should even be considered.
Congestion and Coughing
If your kid has thick mucus paired with a loud, harsh cough, you might as well pull out your nurse hat. Be mindful that sometimes a cough will linger with children. However, if you notice that it’s not getting any better after a few days, it might be time to make a doctors appointment.
Vomiting and diarrhea are definitely symptoms that warrant staying home. Make sure they’re drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Stomach bugs are very contagious so you want to ensure that you’re not sending them back to school too soon. A good rule of thumb to go by is to keep them at home at least 24 hours after their last eventful trip to the bathroom.
Dry patches, rashes, and other skin conditions can be difficult for you to diagnose as serious or not. Get in contact with their doctor right away to have them make the best call on that. Pink eye though is a whole different ballgame. It is easy to diagnose considering the biggest symptom is waking up to your eye crusted shut. If your child has pink eye, definitely keep them at home! It is very contagious.
If your kid is in obvious pain or major discomfort they need to stay home from school.