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When to keep a child home from school

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 01-07-2011

It's not unheard of for our children to use an imaginary illness as an excuse to slump on the couch and spend the day watching Oprah reruns. Although you might not be fooled by these attempts to avoid school, there are ways of deciding whether the sickness is genuine or not. If your child has a few mere sniffles and perhaps a sore throat, this is probably not enough to keep him home. A fever, on the other hand, is a different story. If you're unsure of what to do, it may be best to look for certain telltale signs to sway your decision.

Fever. If your child has a fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, there's surely some kind of legitimate sickness going on. Call the doctor and make sure to watch out for other significant symptoms.

Vomiting. This one might be a tougher call to make because a number of factors can cause vomiting. If it's simply a matter of your kid eating too much the night before, the problem will likely pass very soon. However, throwing up more than once is a sheer sign of the stomach flu or something else that's serious enough to take it easy for the day.

Coughing. If the coughs are sporadic, it might simply be a matter of allergies. However, incessant coughs, especially dry ones, are reason enough to keep the young one home – in fact, this may call for a doctor's visit. After all, there's no reason to expose other children to whatever illness your son or daughter may have.