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Moms Talk: How Sick Is Too Sick for School?

We want to know how you decide when to miss school due to illness.

A sniffle. A wee cough. Pink cheeks. Might be the onset of a flu or could just be one of the many little pseudo-colds that children bring home weekly from school.

Short of a raging fever, it can be a tough call to decide whether to send your child to school. Are they well enough to play? Feeling good enough to learn? Will the other parents look at you in horror when you bring your child to the classroom? There are so many factors to consider.

We at Patch want to know: What is your yardstick for judging illness? How do make the call on attending school? Do the reasons change according to the age of your child? Does the season play a part?

Shannon Morgan October 02, 2011 at 12:11 AM
As a High school teacher, I feel I have a pretty good insight on this. If your child is showing any infectious symptoms, sniffling, coughing, fever, stomachache, even if they still have tons of energy, LEAVE THEM HOME! Those "little colds they bring home from school" are caught from kids whose parents allowed them to go to school ill. Teachers get sick too, and might be affected more than the students. In the last two years, I have contracted swine flu, whooping cough, pneumonia twice, stomach flus and many other colds all from my students. I know you don't want your kid to miss any lessons, but if the teacher has to be out for days or weeks, not only will your child not learn, but neither will 175 other students whom I teach every day!
zp October 02, 2011 at 07:47 PM
Yes, I say to leave the sick kiddos at home. Firstly, your child is vulnerable to more serious illness when their immune system is compromised. Normal bugs can latch hold and they could end up with walking pneumonia or worse. Secondly, the other children are at risk if they catch your child's cold/flu. Even if it is runny nose stuff, kids do NOT use tissues and if they do, they leave them all around and on the play structures they are smearing their germs about. Thirdly, and this is super-important, the teachers are at risk and once they go down, that is 22 kids who won't have a teacher. So bite the bullet, call the babysitter, keep them home until they are past the infectious stage. This whole thing of only keeping them home if it is green or yellow snot is way out-dated. That actually means they need antibiotics and ought to have been home awhile ago! Dr. P.
Catherine Myman-Kaplan October 03, 2011 at 11:50 PM
Thank you so much for the teacher insight Shannon! I think it is so important to remember that teachers are vulnerable to germs as well. Have you sent children home for being too ill? Thank you for taking the time to comment! :)Catherine
Catherine Myman-Kaplan October 03, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Excellent point about tissue use zp! Also, most kids haven't quite mastered the art of "catching their cough". And I still hear the info about the green/yellow snot--why do you think that keeps being told? Thanks for commenting! :)Cath

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