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When Should You Keep Your Child Home from School?

​​​From coughs and colds to stomach aches and headaches, kids often get sick. As a parent, ​it can be difficult to know when to keep them home from school or daycare. Since there is no easy answer, here are some useful guidelines that can help.

When a Child Should Stay Home from School

If your child exhibits any of the following symptoms, it's important that they stay home from school:

  • Fever - If your child has a fever of 100.4⁰ or above, they should stay home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without medication.
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea
  • Oozing Rashes and Sores
  • Excessive Coughing
  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis - Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis is highly contagious.

Remember, no one knows your child better than you, so use your “mother's or father's intuition." If you feel your child is just not well, keep them home.

In this post-COVID era, many kids are struggling with anxiety and the question of whether to keep them home from school arises. Stress is real and has potential to cause symptoms that include headaches, stomach aches and body aches. If your child is anxious/overwhelmed and not feeling well, staying home from school for a mental health day might be necessary.

It's important, however, to ensure that staying home for anxiety does not become a regular occurrence. Children need to learn coping skills and how to address the stress they are feeling. Avoiding school is not the answer, but a day home from school to relax and recharge when anxiety is high can be helpful.

Why it is Important to Keep Kids Home When They are Sick?

  • Kids Need Rest - When kids are sick, the best thing for them is quiet time and sleep.
  • Slows the Spread - Keeping kids home when they are sick helps reduce the spread of the illness throughout the school community.

When to See the Doctor

  • High, Persistent Fever - if your child has a high fever (100.4 or above) that lasts for more than three days
  • Ear Pain - if your child is complaining of ear pain or you notice red ears, tugging at ears or crying/fussiness
  • Breathing Issues - if your child is working hard to breathe, coughing, wheezing or sucking in air
  • Dehydration - See the doctor immediately if your child is exhibiting symptoms like the inability to keep liquids down, dry lips, seems overly tired or is no longer urinating.

If you are unsure about whether to see a doctor, calling the nurse line for guidance can be a great start. If it is not an urgent medical issue, you also can seek advice by sending a message or photos through the practice's portal/app.

Sickness in kids is inevitable, but knowing the signs will help you make the best decisions to keep your children safe and help them to recover.​​​

Depression and Anxiety;Illness;Parenting Pediatrics