When to Keep Your Sick Child Home

Release Date: 
February 1, 2014

Find out more about When to Keep Your Sick Child Home.

When to Keep Your Sick Child Home

Although it may seem obvious, children should not go to school when they're contagious to others, when they have a fever, or when they're too sick to learn. Childhood illnesses are spread easily when children are in close contact in the school setting.  According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), colds are most contagious two to four days after original exposure (whether or not symptoms have developed), when there is plenty of the virus present in nasal secretions.  For children, the contagious period for the flu can last up to two weeks after they start feeling sick, even if they start feeling better before that.

Most schools will send a child home if they think he or she is showing symptoms of the following conditions:

 

  • Fever
  • Chicken pox
  • Strep throat
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Skin infections
  • Eye infections
  • Parasitic infections such as lice or scabies

A child with a runny nose or persistent cough, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily pose a health threat to other students, particularly if he's careful to wash his hands frequently. Children recovering from a cold should be able to go to school, as long as they're feeling okay. Note that the FDA discourages the use of cold and cough remedies in school-age children, since they are only 6% effective at relieving symptoms.  Experts agree that the best method of infection control is simply washing the hands with ordinary soap and water.

Courtesy of: life.familyeducation.com/parenting/health

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