When school is in session, there is always the risk of your child catching a cold or getting the flu. But when do you keep your child at home?
It becomes a dilemma that have many moms have debated, and even now pushing for schools to clarify "When should you keep your child from school?" Whether your child is in preschool, daycare or at the grade school level, there is a growing belief that germs are just a part of the circle of school life.
Doctors recommend to keep kids home if they have a fever over 100° F, acute runny nose or coughing, and any vomiting or diarrhea. Coughs can be signs of bronchitis or pneumonia, and fevers are often an indication of a viral infection. A tummy ache or the sniffles do not meet the criteria to keep them home.
But the Center For Disease Control and Prevention advises parents to keep kids with flu-like symptoms home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of fever without medication - even with anti-viral medications.
On average, a child misses school about 20 days per year, which over a 9 month period is just a few days per month. But with parents as role models and the average household income lacking, 90 percent of workers still come into work when they’re ill and contagious. If you have a mildly sick child, go over their symptoms to determine if they should be kept home or are probably OK to head off to class.
If you do send them to school with a mild cold, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises parents to teach their children to wash their hands, cover their mouths, use tissues and not their clothing, avoid direct contact with another child if they have just sneezed or coughed until they can go wash your hands. Nonetheless, they recommend that if your child is sick, they will likely get better faster by staying at home.
Parents who work have another issue with keeping children home. They may not have sick days available or feel guilty staying home when they’re healthy.
So here are some good tips for parents who work:
- Save some personal days for child sick days.
- Have a back up babysitter! There are many quick babysitter services now like Urban Sitter.
- Watch for warning signs and do your best to boost their immune system
It isn’t easy being a parent. It's no fun having a cold, but prevention is key. Plus have a plan for that common cold that happens when you least expect it, because you know it will!