How to tell if your child is too sick for school: expert

January 20, 2013
How to tell if your child is too sick for school: expert
If kids aren't well enough to learn, it's best to keep them home.

(HealthDay)—Children often get colds, but when they are not feeling well enough to participate in their normal daily activities or not alert enough to learn or play, they are too sick to go to school, an expert advises.

"Young children's immune systems haven't learned to recognize and resist most common viruses," Dr. Robert Key, a family physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Prairie du Chien, Wis., said in a Mayo news release. "That's why, until they're 8 or so, kids seem to bring home everything that's making the rounds at school. Children can typically have six to 10 colds per year."

Key added that there are other signs that kids should stay home from school, including:

  • Throwing up two or more times during a 24-hour period, or not being able to keep normal foods or drinks down.
  • A fever of 101 Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Severe coughing or trouble breathing.
  • Repeated severe diarrhea for at least a day.
  • Stomach pains that last for more than two hours.
  • Open sores on the mouth.
  • An unexplained skin rash or red eye.

Children who are diagnosed with contagious conditions such as strep throat, and impetigo should not go to school until they can no longer pass the condition on to someone else, Key noted.

Colds, the "," and strep throat are the culprits behind most missed school days, Key said. Parents who notice symptoms that seem worse than a common cold should schedule an appointment with their child's pediatrician.

The best way children can stay healthy and avoid missing school is to wash their hands thoroughly and often, Key advised. The U.S. encourages people to wash their hands with soap and water for 15 seconds—about as long as it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice.

Explore further: What does my child's sneeze mean?

More information: The American Academy of Pediatrics provides more tips to help parents wondering if their child is too sick for school.

Related Stories

What does my child's sneeze mean?

April 26, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Though much of the beauty of spring is its vivid colors, rosy-red eyes and noses aren’t usually considered a welcome part of the landscape. Runny noses, sneezing and coughing often trumpet spring’s ...

Does your child have seasonal allergies or a cold?

May 15, 2012

(HealthDay) -- It can be difficult during the spring months for parents to determine whether their children have a cold or seasonal allergies, but an expert outlines how to tell the difference.

New strep throat guidelines tackle antibiotic resistance

September 10, 2012

(HealthDay)—Doctors need to accurately diagnose and treat strep throat in order to avoid inappropriate use of antibiotics that can lead to drug-resistant bacteria, according to updated guidelines from the Infectious Diseases ...

Exposure to snot-nosed kids ups severity of cold infections

September 26, 2012

Exposure to school-age children raises the odds that a person with lung disease who catches a cold will actually suffer symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat and cough, according to a study just published in the Journal ...

Safe ways to relieve your young child's flu symptoms

January 11, 2013

(HealthDay)—Flu season is especially bad in the United States this year, and young children with the flu tend to suffer more than others because they can't take over-the-counter medications to help relieve their symptoms.

Recommended for you

Higher intelligence score means better physical performance

August 14, 2015

New research reveals a distinct association between male intelligence in early adulthood and their subsequent midlife physical performance. The higher intelligence score, the better physical performance, the study reveals. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.