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Winter hatHello from the Health Office!

“Should I keep my child home or send him/her to school?”  Parents often wonder whether or not a child is too sick to go to school.  Following are some helpful guidelines for making this decision: 
A child should remain at home if he or she:

  • Has a fever of 100.0 or greater
  • Has been vomiting or feels very nauseous
  • Has diarrhea
  • Has symptoms that prevent him or her from participating in school, such as: excessive tiredness or lack of appetite, productive cough, headache, body aches, earache, sore throat.

A minor sore throat is usually not a problem, but a severe sore throat could be strep throat even if there is no fever.  Other symptoms of strep are difficulty swallowing, headache and stomach upset.  Contact your child’s doctor as a special test is needed to determine if it is strep.  

Keep your child home until his fever has been gone for 24 hours without medication.  Returning to school too soon may slow the recovery process and expose others unnecessarily to illness.

How can I prevent my child from getting sick?
•    Teach your child good hand washing, using plenty of soap and water.  Proper hand washing should take about 20 seconds (the time is takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice). 
•    Teach your child to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their sleeve (at the elbow).
•    Keep your child’s environment tobacco free. 
•    Keep your child’s immunizations up to date (The Centers for Disease Control recommend a flu vaccine for most children ages 6 months and up).
•    Serve a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Remember, germs make us sick, not cold weather.  Students go outside for recess all winter long, so please make sure your child has the right gear for winter play!  This includes a hat, mittens or gloves, snow pants, a jacket, boots, and warm socks.  Dressing in layers is a great way to keep the body warm. 

Please consider sending in spare clothing for your child to keep at school.   It’s hard to concentrate if your clothes are cold and wet from snow!

Thank you!
Laura RN and Eva, NA