Attendance at School: Should I Keep My Child Home With This Illness?
By Heather Makris, Conant Elementary School Nurse
Here is some important information that may help you (parents) make the right choice when it comes to deciding on keeping your child home from school.
Fevers are generally a sign of illness/infection. Your child should stay home if his/her TEMPERATURE is 100 F or above. He/she should not return to school until their temperature has been normal (97 - 99 F) for at least 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication.
Cold, Cough, Sore Throat
Most children can attend school with cold symptoms as long as they do not have a fever. If your child has a cold with a fever over 100 F, he/she should be kept at home and your healthcare provider should be consulted. Your child should also stay home if they have greenish nasal discharge or cough production. A sore throat with a fever, swollen glands, headache, stomachache, or rash may indicate strep. You should consult your child’s doctor for evaluation. If strep is confirmed, your child may return to school after 24 hours of antibiotics, if they feel better.
Stomachache, Vomiting, Diarrhea
A child with vomiting and/or diarrhea should be kept at home until symptoms have resolved for at least 12 hours. Your child also needs to be able to eat and drink normally before returning. Consult your doctor if you suspect dehydration.
Your child should stay home if he/she has red eyes that itch and/or have a crusty discharge. Consult your doctor for evaluation of possible conjunctivitis. Your child may return to school after 24 hours of antibiotic treatment.
Earache--Consult your doctor if your child complains of ear pain.
Toothache--Consult your dentist.
Headache--If headaches are frequent you should consult your doctor. Dehydration, stress, and fatigue can cause a headache.
A rash is usually a sign of a viral illness. It also may be a reaction to medication, plants, or chemicals such as soaps or detergents. If your child has an unusual rash or it is associated with a fever, contact your doctor.
* The best way to prevent the spread of infection is good hand washing.
* Give your child a separate towel and washcloth.
* Change your child’s toothbrush after an illness and every 3 months.
* Have your child examined annually by her/his health care provider.
* School age children require at least 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
* A healthy diet is important in creating a healthy student.
* Please call your school nurse if you have any questions or concerns.
Please remember a sick child belongs at home…
Resilience is a key skill for children to learn.
Heather Makris, BSN RN NCSN
Luther Conant Elementary School Nurse