Now that Kellan is in the swing of things at school, I am bracing for his first cold of the season. Kids in his class are already sneezing and sniffling, and teachers are busy wiping noses and reminding students to wash their hands.
A few nights ago, Kellan had a slight fever and I wondered if he should stay home from school the next day. Thankfully once morning rolled around, his temperature was back to normal and he felt fine. Sometimes it's hard to know when to keep your child home from school or daycare, but here are the five sure signs that your child should take the day off.
1. Fever - If your child has a fever of 100 degrees F. (37.7 degrees C.) or higher, he should probably stay at home. Make sure he's drinking plenty of fluids. Fevers can signal a viral infection, so if the fever spikes or goes on for more than a day, check in with your pediatrician.
2. Vomiting - This seems like a no brainer, but even if your child seems to feel better after vomiting, you should keep her home and make sure she does not become dehydrated. If she has trouble keeping liquids down, offer small sips frequently instead of insisting she finishes a whole cup.
3. Sore Throat - If your child says his throat hurts it could be allergies, but if he has other symptoms such as a fever, swollen glands, or upset stomach you should see your doctor for a strep test.
4. Diarrhea - This is a fairly common problem for toddlers and preschoolers, but if your child develops other symptoms, like a fever or nausea, or if she has three or more loose stools in one day, you should keep her home and check with your doctor to make sure it's not an infection. It is also important to make sure your child is hydrated.
5. Red eyes - Your child may have allergies, but if the eyes are bright pink and become stuck shut because of a yellowish-green discharge, that sounds like conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, which is highly contagious. You will definitely want to see your pediatrician for the right treatment.
A day home with a sick child can throw any parent for a loop, but try not to worry if the symptoms aren't serious and try to be extra patient with your little one while you make the best of a bad situation. I actually have some fond memories of my mom spending time with me while I was sick.