I am sure the school district your child attends has a strict attendance policy because we all know you have to be in school to learn. Have you read your school's attendance policy? School's attendance rates are even calculated into the school performance profile. Administrators spend hours evaluating the attendance rates of all the students within their assigned building and develop truancy elimination plans, but truancy elimination plans do not protect a child from strep throat, flu or even lice. Kids get sick and if a kid comes to school sick, other kids get sick!
When is it appropriate and necessary to keep your child home from school?
FEVER - If your child has a fever, he or she is fighting off something. Keep your child home until they are free of a fever for at least 24 hours. Let me clarify, 24 hours WITHOUT the aid of a fever reducing medication.
DIARRHEA - Would you want to be a work with diarrhea? If your child has had diarrhea, please make sure they have 24 hours to recuperate after their last trip to the bathroom.
VOMITING - If there is any comfort to vomiting, it is the comfort from being at home. If your child is actively vomiting or has vomited in the last 24 hours, they should stay home. Make sure your child is able to keep several meals down before sending them back to school.
HEAD LICE - Head lice happens and does not discriminate! If your child is the unfortunate victim of head lice, make sure they are clear before returning to school. You would want other families to keep their child at home, as well. If the school nurse is not the one to identify the issue, please make sure you contact him or her so they can help evaluate when your child can come back to school and what treatment needs to be applied.
PINK EYE or EYE INFECTION - Pink eye can wipe out a whole early elementary classroom. Let's face it, young children are very generous when it comes to sharing germs. If you notice your child's eye watering or looking a little "crusty", keep them home. Contact your pediatrician or local outpatient center for treatment and make sure they give you a note to return to school.
RASH - Normally a rash is the result of contact dermatitis, but others can be an indicator of illness. A rash accompanied by a fever is a sign of a much needed sick day. Make sure your child is rash and itch free before you allow them to be present in school.
STREP THROAT, BRONCHITIS and/or CONGESTION - All of the above create a domino effect of illness within all classrooms across the country. Without the evaluation of a doctor or swab tests, it is hard to identify exactly why your child is hacking away. Pay attention to their symptoms and remember that children see no wrong when sneezing and coughing on others. Error on the side of caution, I am sure the school staff will appreciate it.
HOSPITAL STAY or DEHYDRATION - If your child has been admitted into the hospital for any illness or surgical procedure, they are normally released with the directive of bed rest. Even after symptoms have alleviated, the body needs time to recover. Pay close attention to the discharge papers to see when it is safe to return to school. Use your judgement if you feel they need one more day of R & R.
These are just some of the incidences of illness where your child should stay home from school. Each child is different and have different medical needs. Attendance policies are created for students who miss an abundance of days for no reason at all. A child welfare is the top concern of all educators. Sometimes kids just need some tender love and care ....at home!