Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

How to Tell If Your Child Is too Sick for School

Children get sick. Often. They get about five to seven colds a year as compared to adults who catch about two to four colds a year. Kids get sick more often because of their proximity to each other in school, daycare, and playgrounds. They’re also not as good at practicing good hygiene yet.

It’s important to note, though, that not every cold is serious enough to keep your child home from school. When they’re vomiting or have diarrhea, the decision is simple enough. However, when they’re not feeling well but don’t have a fever or any other obvious signs of sickness, the decision becomes complicated. 

Do you send them to school simply because they don’t have a fever? Do you keep them home to prevent them from getting sicker? Does a runny nose or cough make them contagious or too ill to focus? Here are some questions to ask yourself that can help you decide if your child is too sick for school.

Does your child have a fever? 

If their fever is over 100.4 F, keep them home. However, keep in mind that a fever is not something to worry about unless it’s over 104 F or lasts for more than five days. A fever is a sign that your child is fighting the unwelcome germs that have made them sick. It may take a few days for the fever to come down, or it may come down by bedtime. Most schools request that you keep your child home until they are fever-free for 24 hours.

Is your child contagious?

It’s important to keep your child home when they’re sick so that they can rest and regain their strength and health. Keeping your child home with the flu, pinkeye, strep throat, or other contagious illnesses is also considerate so that you don’t spread those conditions to other children. 

Is your child weak? 

If your child seems weak, lethargic, and rundown, then it would make sense to keep them home. If it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to participate or concentrate in class, then staying home, whether they have a fever or not, is probably the right call. 

What’s your gut telling you?

You know your child best. Do they seem too sick? Did they eat breakfast? Did you have more trouble than usual rousing them from bed? Are they moving slowly? If you feel in your gut that your child needs a sick day, then keep them home. If you think that they’re faking it or will be fine once you drop them off, then take them to school. 

Is your child not feeling well? Are you not sure about whether to keep them at home or send them to school? Call the pediatric experts at Liberty Pediatrics for advice or to schedule a same-day appointment.  

You Might Also Enjoy...

Should I Test My Child for COVID-19?

These days, if your child gets sick with a cold, you may also wonder if they have COVID-19. Learn which signs and symptoms indicate that your child should be tested.

Preventing Your Child From Developing Type 2 Diabetes

It used to be rare for young people to develop type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, with childhood obesity rates rising, this is no longer the case. Learn how you can help prevent your child from developing this widespread, chronic disease.

5 Tips for Soothing a Crying Newborn

Most parents would do anything to stop their babies from crying. Fortunately, there are a variety of strategies you can use to help soothe your newborn. Read on to learn five expert tips.