Knowing When Your Child Is Too Sick for School

It can be difficult to differentiate between the common cold, influenza, and other respiratory infections, so you may not always know if your child needs to stay home because of symptoms like a runny nose, cough, and congestion. This article will take a look at some of the ways that you can identify the right environment for your child so that he or she stays well without missing too much school.


Typically, children who are not running a fever, don’t have diarrhea or vomiting, and are able to get up and out of bed will be able to attend school and participate in classroom activities without posing a health risk for other students. When diarrhea and vomiting are present, you should not send your child to school. Instead, offer water and an electrolyte beverage to prevent dehydration while the stomach bug persists. Usually these symptoms will clear up in a day or two. In the case of a fever, you will want to wait until 24 hours after the fever breaks to send your child back to school.

School Policies

Some schools may have policies on when children are able to attend school with certain illnesses. If your school does have such a policy and your child is too sick to be in class, your child might be sent home in the middle of the school day.

When to see a Doctor

Just because your child is unable to go to school does not necessarily mean that a doctor’s appointment is necessary. You might call the pediatrician ahead of time for a recommendation about your child’s care, or wait to see if symptoms clear up in the next few days.

When you are unsure about what type of care your child needs, you can call Los Robles Hospital 24/7 at (877) 888-5746 and speak with one of our registered nurses. Our staff is available to take your call anytime for answers to healthcare questions, physician referrals, and registration in our hospital’s classes and events.

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