When to Keep Your Child Home from School

When your child is in school he is susceptible to an endless stream of illnesses. It is important to stop the spread of germs and infections handwashing between one another by following good infection control practices. Cold, flu, and other illnesses are caused by viruses and bacteria. REMEMBER - HANDWASHING IS THE SINGLE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO STOP THE SPREAD OF GERMS. Another practice that parents should follow is keeping your child home when they are sick. But then the question arises, “Is My Child Too Sick For School?” Here are a few guidelines that may help you decide.
Children should STAY HOME if their temperatures rise above 100.4. A feverish child is not only considered contagious, but he’s also probably not feeling well enough to learn or participate. KEEP YOUR CHILD HOME UNTIL HE’S BEEN FEVER-FREE FOR 24 HOURS WITHOUT ANY FEVER REDUCING MEDICATION AND IS FEELING LIKE HIS USUAL SELF.
If your child has vomited two or more times in 24 hours, he should stay home from school. Watch for sign of dehydration as well, which include not urinating as frequently and/or dry mouth and lips. To prevent dehydration, offer small amounts of fluid frequently. Your child should not automatically come back to school once the vomiting has stopped. Wait a few days before returning to school. Call your doctor if he has not improved after a few days.
If the white part of the child’s eye is only slightly pink and the discharge is clear and watery, it is likely that he has a school safe allergy. If his eye is stuck shut, bright red, and/or oozing yellow or green discharge. These symptoms all indicate the highly contagious bacterial form of pinkeye or conjunctivitis and your child should stay home until he has seen a doctor and been on antibiotics for 24 hours and the eye drainage dries up.
Children who have diarrhea more than three times should stay home from school. They likely have an infection that can spread. As with vomiting, watch for signs of dehydration and follow the same prevention advice.
If the sore throat is accompanied by swollen glands, a fever, headache or stomachache, bring him to the doctor for a strep test. Children with strep should be on antibiotics for at least a full 24 hours before returning to school.

Any stomachache associated with vomiting, diarrhea, and fever warrants a trip to the doctor. Sharp stomach pain and a rigid belly can be signs of severe constipation, appendicitis, or a bowel obstruction.