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Should Slightly Sick Children Stay At Home? How Sick Is Too Sick?

Update Date: Jan 23, 2017 09:46 PM EST

Parents are often caught in a dilemma if their child gets sick, or their kids need to miss school due to school symptoms. The child's absence in school is often based on the parents' judgment, thus one of the questions that are often asked is: How sick is "too sick to go to school?"

NPR sheds light as experts explain the extent of a certain disease that can cause the child to miss school. A survey that was done in regards to the stay-home-or-go-to-school decision, it was mentioned that 1,442 parents of children ages 6 to 18 fear that their child's minor condition could turn into something serious if they'll go to school. Thus they are often asked to stay home and rest.

11 percent of parents, however, do not want their children to miss school as they would be absent from work if they kids would stay at home.

In regards to the extent of missing school, pediatrician Andrew Hashikawa shared that there are common guidelines imposed by daycare centers and school in regards to a child's excused absences. He mentioned that some sickness does not require the child to go to school, or even visit a pediatrician as there all illnesses that are minor and can be attended to at home of by the school's physician.

It was mentioned that even the pink eye symptoms need to be reconsidered. Hashikawa mentioned that the guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics' guidelines for child care illness exclusions are a bit lax when it comes to considering the diseases that require a stay at home rest.

"Vomiting is a reason to send a child home only if there are two or more episodes in 24 hours, Hashikawa stated. " Even a short-lived fever in an otherwise healthy-seeming child over 6 months old is not a reason to call Mom or Dad or require a physician visit."

Letting a child miss school due to the minor flu or stuffy nose can affect the parent as well. Getting a medical certificate for the child to go back can be an additional burden too. Hashikawa that parents should be keen in checking their child's symptom as the stay-home-or-go-to-school decision is solely based on the parent's judgment.


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