21 Aug 2014
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Moms Talk: Too Sick To Go To School?

How do you make the call on whether it is a sick day?

Moms Talk: Too Sick To Go To School?

“’I cannot go to school today,’
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
'I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.’ ”

-- from “Sick” by Shel Silverstein

After reciting a litany of symptoms, we come to find out that little Peggy Ann is only faking her illness, naughty girl that she is, but it does raise an interesting question: "how sick is too sick to go to school?" asks Reston PatchMoms Council member Samantha Nims.

I seem to remember a 24-hour rule that requires students who are ill to stay home for at least 24 hours after the first course of antibiotics, the last elevated temperature, or the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea.  Assuming for the moment that people follow these guidelines, there is still a lot of gray area when it comes to other types of illness. 

How do you tell the difference between a sniffle and a head cold, or a throat tickle and the beginnings of strep?  With all of the allergens in our area, it’s difficult to distinguish a stuffed-up, goopy-eyed, hacking kid with allergies from one with a viral or bacterial infection.  Similarly, how do you know if your child has an upset stomach because he ate too much cake at the soccer team party or because he’s coming down with the flu?

So, what’s the rule in your home when things get germy?  Do you err on the side of caution and keep them home or send them off with extra Vitamin C and hope for the best?

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