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The Hood Magazine

When to Keep Kids Home from Daycare

11/01/2018 02:14PM ● By Digital Media Director

By: Apple TreeChildren’s Center

It’s here again, the unavoidable cold and flu season. We try to do our best to be good parents, yet, the big question remains: “When should I keep my child home from daycare or school?”

According to Claire McCarthy, MD of Harvard Health Publishing, there are four major symptoms that should be on your radar and is good cause to keep your kiddo home:

1.      Fever. If your child has a fever of 100.4 or more, keep them home. Fever usually always indicates an infection of some kind or something else happening with the body. Fever reducers may help your child feel better, but it only masks the fact that your child may be contagious. 

2.      Vomiting or diarrhea. Both of these things can lead to dehydration in a hurry. If your child refuses to eat or drink, this complicates dehydration and could mean a trip to the emergency room. Don’t forget to replace the fluids your child is losing. 

3.      Severe pain. This is any pain that is more than discomfort. Pain is a good indicator of potential serious problems. If your child has any pain that is more than mild, get it checked out.

4.      Persistent cough, or unusual breathing. Labored breathing or wheezing can be concerning. Barking coughs or a cough that causes vomiting is also something that should be taken seriously. 

Always keep in mind that the common cold can bring on some not so common complications. Ear infections, asthma, sinusitis, or pneumonia can come along for the ride with a cold. Treating the symptoms of a cold is your best bet. Be sure they stay hydrated and rested. Be careful when using over the counter medicines. Watch the dosage so you never give a little body more than it can handle.

The problem we often face is that we are too busy for our child to be sick. There is a 10:00 a.m. meeting that can’t be missed, so a dose of medicine will have to do. Four hours later, they call to come get your child because the fever went back up and the cough is back.

Unfortunately, taking your already sick child to a den of germs only complicated things and can potentially make your child sicker. Their weakened immune systems can’t fight anything more than they already are taking on. Try to beat the bugs before they attack. Make sure your child is sleeping well, eating well, drinking plenty of water, taking vitamins, and learning how to wash their hands.