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Consumer Reports: Is your child too sick for school?

The important thing to pay attention to is whether she is too sick to participate in activities or to pay attention and learn.

Posted: Sep 21, 2018 4:04 PM

IS YOUR KID TOO SICK FOR SCHOOL?

If you’re a parent, nothing wreaks havoc with your schedule more than a sick kid and the decision about whether to send her to school. Consumer Reports has some advice on how to handle five common kid ailments.

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

The important thing to pay attention to is whether she is too sick to participate in activities or to pay attention and learn. And if your child is 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 her home.

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

Get this: Kids miss more than 3 million days of school a year because of pink eye. So the first thing you need to be concerned about with pink eye is whether your child’s school has a policy. Many schools will require that you keep a kid with pink eye home, so checking the rules should be your first order of business. If you’re not required to keep your kid home, the important thing is to make sure she is taking general precautions, such as washing her hands and not rubbing her eyes -- that will help prevent her from spreading it.

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

And finally there’s ringworm, a contagious fungal skin condition that’s easily spread by sharing infected hats, combs or hair 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 her hair or skin.

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