9/26/02 - Is it the Bug?

By now, children are back to school and into a routine, when suddenly, they say they feel too sick to go to school. Now, parents face the big question, should you keep them home, or send them on their way?
Sometimes it may be hard to tell if children are really sick or if they're just trying to get out of a day at school. Here are some tips on how to tell the difference.
Six-year-old Luke never wants to miss recess, but his mom, Julie, doesn't want him to miss any of the classwork that comes along with being a kindergartner. "If he's just complaining about minor things I expect him to go, but if he has a fever or he's vomiting I wouldn't send him." Julie's playing it smart. A teacher herself, she knows that if a child comes to school sick, it won't be long before the rest of the class comes down with something too.
Here are some tips on when your child should stay home. If he has a fever over 100, if he's vomiting or has diarrhea, if he has a rash, has a red eye, or has a swollen throat or glands, your best bet is to keep him out of the classroom. Some other things to keep in mind, if your child has a fever, make sure he's fever free for at least 24 hours, and if he starts an antibiotic, he should be on it 24 to 48 hours before coming back to school.
And going back to school is great news for Luke, who says school is cool. "It's fun," Luke says. At least after some minor adjustments. "He's struggling about getting up while it's still dark, but he hasn't missed a day yet," Julie says.
The best thing parents can do is listen to their child, and use their best judgement, because we've all heard it before, but mom's always right.