Younger children are especially prone to catching an illness at school, particularly when they haven’t spent much time in pre-school where they would have been exposed to childhood illnesses.
This decision is particularly difficult when a working parent is faced with a child who claims to be sick, it's possible to wonder whether the child is genuinely sick, just looking for a duvet day, worried about something at school or actually coming down with an illness.
Here’s our guide to when you should keep your child home from school and when you can take a chance that he will be feeling better once he gets to school.
You should keep your child home from school in the following circumstances:
Fever: This is one symptom that rules out school, no questions.
Diarrhoea: This could signify a viral infection, so it’s always advisable to keep your child home. It’s also crucial to keep him hydrated when he has diarrhoea.
Vomiting: Other than the fact that your child won’t be comfortable, it’s possible he could vomit again. You should keep him home until at least 24 hours have passed without throwing up.
Cough: This will depend on how severe the cough is as it can spread infection to other students. As a very general rule, if your child has a serious wet cough, especially if it’s accompanied by breathing troubles, seek medical advice. But if it’s just a mild cough and there are no other symptoms, he should be ok to attend school.
Ear infection: If it’s just a mild ear pain, he is likely to be fine but if he is clearly terribly uncomfortable, he should be kept home. He should also be kept home if there are accompanying symptoms such as a fever.