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Young boy holding a tissue to his nose in his bedroom

Too Sick for School?

By Dr. John Harrington, General Academic Pediatrics

It’s often hard for parents to decide if their child is too sick to go to school or daycare. Your pediatrician’s advice or the school’s rules should help. If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may need to keep them home. 

Considerations for keeping your child at home:

  • If your child has a temperature (oral or rectal) of 101 degrees or more during the past four hours
  • If your child has persistent heavy nasal discharge that is yellow/green
  • If your child has a persistent heavy cough unrelated to poor asthma control or smoke exposure
  • If your child has a new skin eruption or an undiagnosed rash
  • If your child has redness of the eyelid linings or an irritation of the eyes followed by swelling or discharge
  • If your child has been vomiting more than once over the last 6 hours
  • If your child has difficult or rapid breathing related to their current illness
  • If your child has diarrhea (more than one abnormally loose stool in a 24-hour period)
  • If your child is unusually fussy, cranky, not “acting like himself” and you don’t know why
  • If your child has a contagious disease, such as chicken pox, conjunctivitis, influenza, measles, , strep throat, etc.

Consider allowing your child to return to school:

  • If the child’s yellow/green nasal discharge has subsided
  • If your child has been without a fever for 24 hours without medication
  • If your child has a doctor’s note saying he/she is no longer contagious

Fresh air, sunshine and exercise are generally good for children recovering from illnesses, but avoid heavy exercise, overheating and extreme hot or cold weather until a child has completely recovered.

When in doubt, call your child’s pediatrician.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.