Consumer Reports: When you should keep your sick kids home from school

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Consumer Reports: When you should keep your sick kids home
Consumer Reports: When you should keep your sick kids home - Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5pm on October 3, 2018.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Parents know when their child is sick, it can be a tough call deciding whether to send them to school.

Consumer Reports has some advice on how to handle common ailments.

Cough. Runny nose. Tummy ache. Every parent has dealt with a sick child and often that means making a quick decision whether or not to keep them home from school.

When it comes to cold symptoms, if your kid has no fever, they can generally attend school, even with a runny nose or a slight cough.

"The important thing to pay attention to is whether they're too sick to participate in activities to pay attention and learn. And if they're so sick that it's going to take away from the teacher's ability to manage the classroom, that's when you need to think about keeping them home," said Lauren Friedman, Consumer Reports.

If your child vomited or had diarrhea once during the night, but otherwise seems fine before it's time to go to school, ate a normal breakfast and is fever free - it's reasonable to send them. But if it happened more than once, it's probably best to keep them home.

Get this: Kids miss more than three million days of school a year due to pink eye.

"So, the first thing you need to be concerned about with pink eye is whether your child's school has a policy, because many school's will require that you keep a kid with pink eye home. So that should be your first order of business. If you're not required to keep your kid home, the important thing is to make sure they're taking general precautions, like washing their hands and not rubbing their eyes, that will help prevent them from spreading it," said Friedman.

If your child has head lice - that may seem like a clear signal to keep your child home. But actually, if your child is being properly treated, they don't need to stay home unless it's required by school policy. As long as kids keep their heads apart and don't share things like hats, helmets, and combs, they should be fine.

And finally, ringworm, a contagious fungal skin condition that's easily spread by sharing infected hats, combs or hair accessories. As long as treatment has started, your child should be able to attend school.

But you do want to make sure to keep them out of group activites such as swimming or anything that involves close contact.

And back to the common cold - overall, remind your kids to cover their cough and wash their hands frequently throughout the day.


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