Most schools have reopened after the long summer vacations. There is a big smile on every parent’s face and the kids are either cranky (smaller ones) or feel glad to spend fun times with their friends. New uniforms, school bags with the kid’s favorite animation character, new shoes, socks and even pencil boxes excite most children as they look forward to showing them off to their friends at school and comparing with each other!
Each of us want our children to maintain 100% attendance and become toppers which is next to impossible. It might happen in a perfect world where there is no sickness prevailing and kids are hale and healthy all the time! Alas, this is not a perfect world and kids, especially younger kids, are prone to sickness at least 10-12 times a year. They might fall sick due to one virus soon after getting better from another one which makes parents feel that their kid is sick constantly. These viruses can easily spread from one child to another although they might be mild and the best treatment is to provide complete rest to your child by keeping them home.
Sick Kids & their Attendance Sheets
‘When do I allow my sick child to miss school and stay at home?’ is the biggest question that troubles parents. While the immediate simple answer would be to skip school or daycare while being sick, you cannot be so lethargic and keep your child home for every sneeze or cough. This is a tough one as there are various conflicting factors to consider before deciding. We don’t want them going to school spreading the illness to other children neither do we want them to miss classes and affect their education. Also, we don’t want to miss work or face the greatest pain of finding a last-minute child care. You need to make the decision as wisely as possible.
Many-a-time the indications are crystal-clear. The kid looks awful, cannot even get up from bed, seems miserable and going to school seems impossible. But sometimes, the kid does not look all that bad and the decision lacks clarity. Given here are some tips that might help you take a decision with much more clarity. If your child has any of these symptoms, it is mandatory that he/she stays back home:
Fever: Fever is an infection that has the vigor to spread from one kid to another. Any temperature above 100.4°Fahrenheit clearly indicates fever and the child must be kept at home. What do you do when your kid has a temperature of 99.9 or 100? While it cannot be termed as fever, in some day care or primary schools, the parents are called and asked to pick their kid as it is an indication of a growing illness. It actually depends on how your child is-if they seem fine doing all their regular activities, you can send them to school. If you kids feel sick, keep them home and watch them over.
Give medicines and observe your child as you don’t know whether the fever will improve or worsen. Most schools prefer that children remain fever-free for at least 24 hours before going back. It is better to follow this as you are doing a great help by preventing the contagious fever to spread.
Terrible pain: Sometimes, your child might feel bored to attend school and complain of leg pain or head ache. As a parent, you can definitely sense that something is fishy. Even if your kid has a sore knee or mild headache, it is fine to give medicines and send him/her off when everything else is normal. But, even if there is slightly more pain that what is mild, keep them home and have an eye on your kid. It is better to call your physician and check out if there is some problem.
Vomiting or diarrhea: Don’t have any second thoughts to send your child to school when he/she suffers from vomiting or diarrhea even if the kid looks completely normal to you. Sending your child to school would be completely unfair for your kid as well as the daycare/school people. Follow the same 24-hour rule here also before packing off your little champ to school. Certain viruses such as norovirus can be contagious for an extra day and you don’t want to be held responsible for this virus outbreak at your school/day care.
Any difference in breathing/coughing: If we should abstain from sending kids to school for a single sneeze, classrooms would mostly be empty during the winter season! A bad cough definitely hurts the child’s tender throat and makes it difficult for him/her to concentrate on classroom lessons or even play. Even if there is slight difference in breathing sound or looks different from regular breathing, take a break and call the physician.
Controlling Viral Infections
Virus infections spread rapidly through nose (runny nose or sneeze) and mouth (saliva or cough) and also via vomiting and feces, especially when a person has diarrhea. The virus doesn’t show its true color immediately after infecting the child. It might take a few days or a few weeks before symptoms appear. It is our duty to follow good hygiene and reduce the incidence of these viral infections to the maximum extent possible. Ensure to:
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
+91 7846 800 800
Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.