From the Smarty Health Corner and Signature Pediatrics: Is My Child Too Sick for School/Daycare?
By our Smarty friends at Signature Pediatrics
It’s Sunday afternoon, or perhaps Tuesday evening, and your 7-year-old is acting crabby. You touch his forehead and yep, it’s warm. Oral temperature of 100.9 Now what? You’ve got one really important work meeting tomorrow, and 5 items on your to-do list. You never really thought you’d do all 5, but had hoped accomplishing 2-3 was a reality. His fever is under 101 so you wonder “can I just give him some ibuprofen and send him to school tomorrow anyway?”
Having an unexpectedly sick child can really throw a monkey wrench into the week’s plans. And determining when your child must stay home from school or daycare for illness isn’t always easy. But there are some straightforward rules on the matter.
First the bad news. We know that most acute illnesses affecting kids are viral and contagious. We also know that while a child has fever he/she is especially contagious. And, of course, children with fever are not going to be able to concentrate and follow along in the classroom or participate in daycare. So children with fevers should stay home until they are fever free for 24 hours without the help of ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Officially a fever is 100.4oF (38 oC) so our 7-year-old in the above vignette is staying home.
On the other hand, children with mild illness and no fever can generally go to school or daycare. For example, non-feverish kids with cough, runny nose, infrequent diarrhea (not more than 2 extra stools per day), rash, sore throat, lice (after first treatment), and impetigo (kept covered and after starting treatment) can all go to school. Whew!
Of course there are always additional factors to consider. Things like headaches, stomachaches, crabbiness, fatigue, and decreased eating or drinking can all range from mild to severe. Determining whether your child should stay home with those symptoms is done on an individual basis. It is fair to say that a child who cannot participate in regular school or daycare activities should stay home unless there is staff allocated to providing extra care.
Finally, if you simply aren’t sure whether or not to send your child to school, consider keeping him/her home. It will reduce the spread of contagious illnesses and allow your child the rest he/she needs to recover as quickly as possible. Your pediatrician can see him/her and help you make that determination too. We at Signature Pediatrics provide same day sick visits, virtual-visits, and phone consultations with the doctor during or after office hours.
Why Concierge Pediatrics?
Concierge pediatrics is a better approach to health care because the focus is on the patient. Our goal is to allow you to meet with your pediatrician in a pleasant, relaxed and unhurried environment. This provides plenty of time to ask all of your questions and discuss your child’s specific needs. We want you to feel like family so we treat you like family.
With Signature Pediatrics you will always be able to bring in a sick child to be seen on the same day and can schedule most other appointments on the same day or within 24 hours. Wait times have been greatly reduced or eliminated and you will experience little or no time in the waiting room. Even more importantly, once you’re with the doctor, there’s no rush. We will take the time to truly understand your child’s unique needs and offer the most thorough care and follow-up possible.
Please contact us today and learn how Signature Pediatrics can mean the difference between your child living and living well.
6115 Park South Dr. • Suite 105
Charlotte, NC 28210