We all know the feeling, a slight itch in the back of the throat that will inevitably develop into an annoying bug. Many people will push through common illnesses like sinus infections or mild strains of the flu, and they will also encourage their children to do the same. However, sometimes sending them to school isn’t beneficial to them or their classmates. Sometimes even the slightest symptoms can warrant a doctor’s visit to get your child back on track.
Parents are often confused about what symptoms qualify as contagious, and which are cause for business as usual. Generally, a safe bet is if you notice constant coughing, sneezing, or vomiting it is better to play it safe and keep them home. Intense diarrhea is also a cause for a day off.
So, your kid is sick, and you’ve decided to keep them home from school. Now how do you determine if you should call the doctor? It is recommended that if you notice a fever above 104, you call the doctor immediately. For, vomit and diarrhea if the bouts last more than a few hours you should call to deal with dehydration. Finally, for coughs, colds and other respiratory infections you should call if the symptoms persist for a few days, or if your child has trouble breathing.
Now that we’ve covered the importance of keeping your child home to prevent the spread of disease we should discuss their return timetable. For most bacterial infections your child will stop being contagious after 24 hours of antibiotics and can return once they feel OK. In the case of fever or vomiting, they should wait 24 hours after the last sign of their symptoms.