Too Sick for School?
When should your child stay home from school? You dont want your child to miss school; but neither do you want to send a sick child to school and endanger him or her and other children as well. Here are a few guidelines you might wish to follow:
- A runny nose, or leaky faucet, is the way many children respond to pollen, dust, chalk or simply a change of season. If it isnt a common cold, then its an allergy and allergies arent contagious. Dont keep the child home.
- A bad cough or cold symptoms can indicate a severe cold, bronchitis, flu, or even pneumonia. Some children suffer one cold after another all winter long and a run-of-the-mill cold should not be a reason to miss school. But if your child is not acting right, has difficulty breathing, or is becoming dehydrated, it could be serious. Check with your pediatrician right away.
- Diarrhea and vomiting make children very uncomfortable, and being near a bathroom becomes a top priority. If your child has diarrhea or vomiting, please do not send him or her to school. If the vomiting or diarrhea is accompanied by a fever, a rash, or general weakness, then consult a doctor. If your child has been vomiting, please make sure they are eating regularly for one day before returning to school.
- Fever is an important symptom; when it occurs along with a sore throat, an earache, nausea, listlessness, or a rash, your child may be carrying something very contagious. Most pediatricians advise parents to keep children home during the course of a fever and or an additional 24 hours.
- Strep throat and scarlet fever are two highly contagious conditions caused by streptococcal (bacterial) infection. They usually arrive with a sore throat and high fever. Some 12 to 48 hours after the onset of scarlet fever, a rash will also appear. A child with either strep throat or scarlet fever should be kept home and treated with antibiotics, as prescribed by a physician. After 24 hours on an antibiotic, a child is usually no longer contagious and may with a doctors permission return to school.
- Chicken pox, a viral disease, is not life-threatening to children, but is very uncomfortable and extremely contagious. If your child has a fever, is itching, and begins to sprout pink or red spots (with watery centers) on the back, chest, and/or face, the chances are good its chicken pox. Please tell us if it is; its important that schools know this information. Keep your child home for at least a week from the time you first noticed the symptoms and at least two days after the last spot has appeared, whichever period is longer.
- Conjunctivitis or pink eye is highly contagious and uncomfortable, so take heed when your child complains of an eye or eyes burning, itching, and producing a whitish discharge. Minor cases (caused by a virus) and severe cases (caused by bacteria) require treatment with prescription eye drops. Keep home for a full 24 hours after antibiotic eye drops and eye is no longer draining.
- Ear infections are also contagious and, unless properly treated, can cause permanent hearing damage. Here, again, you should follow the 24 hour rule for fever and antibiotic therapy.
Good hand washing and covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing are the most effective and simple ways to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses. As always, call the school and report contagious illnesses to the nurse/office.
Thundermist Health Center has teamed up with the South Kingstown Public School System to deliver dental care to your children. We recognize that it is hard to find a dental home and that booking appointments around school and work is difficult. We offer dental treatment at the school. We have a team consisting of dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants that provide dental exams, cleanings, sealants and fluoride to your children during the school day. We also offer follow up treatment on the Molar Express. The Molar Express is a 40ft long dental van that has state of the art dental equipment. The doctors on board provide restorative treatment. This can take place during the school day or after school. Once you sign up for our program you can have your dental treatment at the school or follow up visits at our dental office on River St in Wakefield.
If you have any questions feel free to call Michelle at 401-783-5646