5 On Your Side

5 On Your side helps you figure out if your child is too sick for school

Posted November 13, 2018 3:55 p.m. EST
Updated November 14, 2018 12:46 p.m. EST

Consumer Reports has advice on how to handle some common kid ailments: With cold symptoms, if your child does not have a fever, they can generally attend school, even with a runny nose or a slight cough.

When a child wakes up sick, the morning can turn chaotic for parents. You have to make the decision about whether to send them to school, and if they stay home you must adjust your schedule as well.

The important thing to figure out is whether they are too sick to participate in activities, or to pay attention and learn. Also, if your child is so sick that it may take away from the teacher's ability to manage the classroom, you should keep them home.

If your youngster vomited or had diarrhea once during the night but otherwise seems fine—they ate breakfast and is fever-free—it's reasonable to send them to school. But if it happened more than once, it's best to keep them home.

As for three other common health issues, you'll first want to check your school's policy. Some require students to stay home while others don't.

With pink eye, if your child is allowed to go to school, make sure they are taking general precautions. Make sure they are washing their hands and not rubbing their eyes, to help prevent them from spreading it.

With head lice, if a child has nits only, or is being treated many school systems allow them to attend school. Just remind them to not share things such as hats, helmets and combs.

And if your child has ringworm, a contagious fungal skin condition that's easily spread by sharing infected hats, combs, or barrettes. As long as treatment has started, your child should be able to attend school but should be excluded from activities that could spread it, such as using communal swimming pools or showers and should not share anything that touches their hair or skin.

Also, heed this message posted by Wake county schools: Don't give children fever-reducing medication and then send them to school.

For more information visit https://www.consumerreports.org/children-s-health/too-sick-for-school/.