“Sick Day Guidelines: Making the Right Call
When Your Child Has a Cold”
Should I keep my child home or send him or her to school?
Consider keeping your child home from school if he or she:
- Has a fever of 100.0 degrees or higher
- Has been vomiting
- Has a new or undiagnosed rash
- Has symptoms that prevent him or her from participating in school, such as:
Excessive tiredness or lack of appetite
Productive coughing, sneezing
Headache, body aches, earache
A minor sore throat is usually not a problem, but a severe sore throat could be strep throat even if there is no fever. Other symptoms of strep throat in children are headache and stomach upset. Contact your pediatrician as your child needs a special test to determine if it is strep throat.
Keep your child home until his or her fever has been gone for 24 hours without medication. Colds can be contagious for at least 48 hours. Returning to school too soon may slow the recovery process and expose others unnecessarily to illness.
Does my child have the flu?
The flu is serious! Call your pediatrician at the first sign of flu symptoms, which typically come on suddenly, including:
Headache, body aches, earache
If you are unsure about the best way to treat your child’s cold or flu, ask your physician.
How do I make my child feel better?
- Make sure your child gets plenty of rest
- Encourage fluids; like water, soup, juice and ice chips
- Help your child relax and give him plenty of TLC
- When used as directed, children’s cough and cold medicines help relieve could and cold symptoms while your child is getting better. Read and follow the directions carefully and give the exact recommended does for the child’s age.
By Helen Root, RN, revised by Christen Potter, RN
Reference: National Association of School Nurses
Teach Kids the ABCs of Healthy Hygiene
Always wash hands for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice)
Beware of germs and know where they hide, especially on shared school supplies such as pencils, crayons, cups and whistles
Cough and sneeze into elbows, not hands (where they're more likely to spread germs through touch)
Medication should be taken at home. However, if a child is to take prescription medication during school hours, an “Authorization to Administer Medication” form must be submitted to the school office or when updating information online with Registration Gateway. Forms are available at the school office. The form needs to be signed by the doctor and a parent/guardian. Also, an updated authorization form will be required each time a change is made in the prescription. Asthma multi-dose inhalers may be carried by the student, with the written permission of student’s physician and parent. Non-prescription medication may only be given to elementary students per nursing judgment and parent/guardian permission. A written release must be on file and show: medication name, strength, reason/instructions, dosage time to be administered, parent and physician signatures. This applies to all medications.
Medication must be delivered to school by the parent. The medication must be in the original container with specific instructions for administration. No more than one week’s supply is to be brought to school. All medication will be kept in a secure area in the school office. Medication will not be kept in the classroom. This includes inhalers, except as noted above.