The decision to keep a sick child home from school can be challenging, especially if complaints are vague and symptoms subtle. Consider these guidelines to help you avoid getting a call from the school office.
The Big Four
Your child should stay home if any of these four symptoms are present: fever, diarrhea, vomiting or nausea. But what happens if the symptoms come and go or seem to be improving? Here's a bit more information that may help:
- Fever. Fever often indicates a viral infection, such as the flu, which is contagious. If you become concerned about a high fever, call your child's pediatrician.
- Diarrhea. Kids who suffer from diarrhea more than three times per day need to stay home. Push fluids and call your doctor if you observe any blood or mucus in the stool.
- Vomiting. One episode of throwing up may be due to draining mucus from a cold. More than one vomiting event in 24 hours, however, means a child needs to stay home. Again, push fluids, especially if you see any signs of dehydration, such as dark yellow urine or lack of tears when crying.
- Nausea. A child with a queasy stomach who isn't vomiting may be nervous about something going on at school, and the cure could be a good chat and a hug. But if nausea persists for more than a day, call your physician.
Other Reasons to Stay Home
Fun Sick-Day Activities
- Bright red eyes, colored discharge and eyes stuck shut may be signs of pinkeye (conjunctivitis), which is highly contagious and requires antibiotic treatment.
- Achy throat, runny nose, headache, swollen glands and stomachache suggest your child needs to be tested for strep throat. Call your pediatrician.
- Also, call your doctor if your child has a persistent, phlegmy cough, a wheezing sound in the chest, or seems cranky or listless.
As your child begins to feel better, try some of these fun ways to pass the time while recuperating.
- Make your own popsicles. Pour your child's favorite fruit juice into a mold or ice cube tray.
- Draw some favorite jokes. Grab the art supplies and create an illustrated book of the silly stories that make your child giggle.
- Have a movie marathon. Sit down with your child for a day at the movies. Watch all of his or her favorite movies and discuss what your child likes best about each movie.
This article, provided by My Health Publisher, can be viewed here.