ARE The Kids Alright?

March 27, 2013

Healthy Life

KidsWe all know we should follow it, but sometimes it sure is tempting not to. It’s the sick policy at our kid’s schools. They typically read like this:

“Children with a fever, diarrhea, vomiting or an untreated rash may not attend school. Children should not return to school until they have been fever free for at least 24 hours and have not vomited or had diarrhea within 24 hours.”

Of course this makes sense for our own child’s health as well as the wellness of others, but after our child has missed several days of school and seems “fine” it’s hard to keep them home another day. Or maybe they wake up a little fussy and warm, but we decide that they might not be seriously sick and give them some medicine and send them to school anyway.

There are good reasons well intentioned parents do this. We worry about missed homework, attendance, and our kids getting too far behind. We might be worried too about us missing another day of work to care for a sick child. Even some of the most conscientious parents use these justifications to bend sick policies.

There are, however, two very good reasons to faithfully adhere to the sick policies:

1.  Your child needs to fully recover

Even though your child may seem well, a sickness like the flu can linger for up to 10 days. During the waning of any sickness your child may feel fatigued, have body aches, a low grade fever, a headache or any other number of symptoms.

By returning to school too early, your child’s body is being denied the time it needs to fully recover. In the long run, this will extend the recovery time of the illness. In their weakened state, your child will struggle to concentrate in school. Their ability to learn may be impaired. They also may be more moody or sensitive making the social interactions of school stressful.

2.  You don’t want to spread illness to other children

Certain symptoms indicate communicable diseases. These include fever, rash, diarrhea and vomiting. In the school environment germs easily spread from child to child no matter how much hand sanitizer is passed around. By sending your child to school when they still have these symptoms you are putting staff and students at risk of catching the same illness.

Spreading common sicknesses like strep throat, pink eye and bacterial infections can be prevented if infected children do not expose healthy children. Consult with your pediatrician for specifics, but generally children are no longer contagious after being on antibiotics for 24 hours.

Remember, the best way to combat the need for stay at home sick days is prevention. Keep your kids healthy by getting back to the basics:

·  Enforce and teach hand washing. Insist that your child use warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Stock their teacher up with hand sanitizer.
·  Follow your pediatrician’s recommendations for immunizations, flu shots and get regular physicals.
·  Feed your children healthy whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
·  Consider a multi-vitamin.
·  Make sure your child gets enough sleep—10 hours a night is recommended.
·  Help your child get plenty of exercise and fresh air.

As parents, children’s health is of paramount importance. There are many ways we can Support The Kids, but it’s important that we start in our own homes and communities. So, do everyone a favor and follow your school’s sick policy.

ARE The Kids Alright?

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!

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