When is My Child Too Sick for School?

At one point or another, every parent of a grade-schooler has to face the tough choice of whether or not to send a sick child to school. A little sniffle - a slight cough... Is it okay to send him to school?

It can be tough to know, especially with younger school-age children, whether or not you really are dealing with a sick child.  Did you ever play hooky?  Is your child just angling for time at home with mom for extra cuddles?  Is he worried about something at school?  Or is he coming down with an infection?

            This is a major issue, especially for working moms and dads.  Here are some guidelines to help you make a decision.

·      Fever  -  A fever is a common symptom of viral infections, such as the flu.  A fever does not usually accompany a common cold.  If your temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher, keep your child home.  Be sure your child drinks plenty of liquids.

·      Cough  -  A severe, frequent cough means your child should stay home.  Coughs can easily spread infection to others.   If it is a mild cough with no fever or other symptoms then he can probably go to school.

·      Sore Throat  -  A minor sore throat is usually not a problem, but a throat that is extremely red, and painful could mean strep throat even without a fever.  Contact your doctor.  There is a special test for strep throat.

·      Diarrhea or Vomiting  -  With either of these symptoms it is best to keep your child home until he has gone 24 hours after the last episode. 

·      Rashes   -  Skin rashes can be a sign of a contagious infection, such as impetigo.  It is important to have the rash evaluated by a doctor before he heads back to school.

·      Pink Eye (conjunctivitis)  -  This infection can quickly and easily spread from one child, or adult, to another.  Keep your child home until your doctor says it is safe to return to school.

·      Stomachache  -  This is a hard call.  If there is no fever, diarrhea or constipation, the tummy problem could be anything from anxiety to food poisoning.  If there are no other symptoms then it is usually safe to send your child to school. 

            It is important for your child to have the flu vaccine.  It is a myth that the flu vaccine causes the flu.  It is true that the nasal spray flu vaccine contain live viruses.  However, the viruses are weakened.  There may be a mild reaction such as a runny nose, tiredness, or sore throat.  But, these side effects will clear up quickly.

            Most importantly it is important to teach your children to wash their hands often.  Teach them to cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbow.  And use tissues to blow their nose.  Be a good role model for your children.  And if they do have to stay home from school, enjoy the quiet time with them by reading and playing board games. 


News Release provided by Karen Lavender.

Document Actions
Topic Home Navigation Navigation
County Family and Consumer Sciences News
Strengthening Families over Dinner
To some it may seem old fashioned, or a thing of the past, but family meals are a proven way to help strengthen families. Years of research has found that the more children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they were to smoke, drink or use drugs. Why? Eating dinner together has a positive effect on social development, family communication, nutritional intake and the development of the family structure. The conversations that go hand-in-hand with dinner help parents learn more about their children’s lives and help them better understand the challenges their kids face each day.
Read More
Emotional Cues and Eating
Do you ever find yourself eating and realize that you don’t even feel hungry or don’t know why you started eating in the first place? If so, don’t feel guilty; you are not alone. Recent studies suggest that over 75% of overeating is caused by our emotions. Instead of eating due to physical cues from our bodies, such as a growling stomach, emotional eating is when our feelings trigger us to indulge and typically cause us to eat unhealthy foods. Studies show that we turn to comfort foods that are sweet, high-fat foods in response to emotional stress. Many of us are programmed to turn to food for comfort at an early age. As an infant, we are held in the security of a loved one’s arms while eating, this begins the emotional phase of eating. As a young child, our family doctor gives a lollipop as a reward at the end of a visit, and some teacher’s celebrate classroom success with pizza or ice cream parties. It’s no wonder we learn to eat to satisfy emotions and not our body’s physical need for nourishment.
Read More
More County Topic News…

Ohio State University Extension embraces human diversity and is committed to ensuring that all research and related educational programs are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. This statement is in accordance with United States Civil Rights Laws and the USDA.

Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Agricultural Administration; Associate Dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Director, Ohio State University Extension; and Gist Chair in Extension Education and Leadership.

For Deaf and Hard of Hearing, please contact Ohio State University Extension using your preferred communication (e-mail, relay services, or video relay services). Phone 1-800-750-0750 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. Inform the operator to dial 614-292-6181.