When Can My Child Go Back to School After Being Sick?
If your child is ill, deciding if he or she is well enough to attend daycare or school is not always easy.
Children frequently have minor illnesses such as runny noses and sore throats while still being fully able to participate in their daytime activities. Here are some symptoms that serve as a warning sign for your child to stay home for rest and recovery:
- Fever: Your child should not go to school if he or she has run fever (100.4 degrees or higher) within the past 24 hours.
- Nausea or vomiting: Children need to stay home from school if they have vomited within the past 24 hours. If they are nauseous and not eating or drinking, they should not attend school.
- Diarrhea: Viruses can live in your system even after you start to feel better and are very contagious to others. Children who have experienced diarrhea in the past 24 hours should stay home to monitor their fluid intake and prevent spread to other children.
- Decreased activity or pain: If your child is not able to participate in a routine day because of fatigue or discomfort, he or she should stay home as you monitor for other symptoms.
- Sick with a contagious illness or rash: Common contagious illnesses in children include: hand, foot, and mouth disease, impetigo, pink eye, and strep throat. Your child’s doctor can help guide you on when returning to school is advisable. Each illness has its own recommendations.
- Eye discharge: Discharge could be a sign of a viral or bacterial eye infection that can easily be spread among children in a classroom. Your doctor can help determine if it is from a contagious source.
Remember, each school may have its own return-to-school requirements, so it is best to contact your child’s pediatrician if you are unsure. To schedule an appointment with an Ochsner pediatrician, click here.