How do you know if you should keep your child off school ?
Date Posted: 27.01.2013
Children are bound to come down with the occasional cold or other viral illness, especially when cold weather keeps a whole class cooped up inside all day. Whether or not to keep your sick child home from school or daycare can be a difficult decision to make, and may also depend on your child's school or daycare policies. A Mayo Clinic physician offers tips on how to decide.
"Young children's immune systems haven't learned to recognize and resist most common viruses," explains Robert Key, M.D., family physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Prairie du Chien. "That's why, until they're 8 or so, kids seem to bring home everything that's making the rounds at school. Children can typically have six to 10 colds per year."
"In general, children should stay home when they don't feel well enough to participate in normal daily activities and lack sufficient alertness to learn or play," Dr. Key says.
He suggests that kids should stay home when they experience:
-Vomiting twice or more over a 24-hour period or being unable to tolerate normal food and drink, or both.
-A temperature of 101 or higher.
-Severe coughing or difficulty breathing.
-Repeated bouts of severe diarrhea for at least a day.
-Persistent abdominal pain (more than 2 hours).
-Open sores on the mouth.
-A skin rash or red eye from an undetermined cause.
-Head lice or scabies.
-Other contagious conditions such as strep throat, chicken pox, impetigo, etc.