Should I send my child to school when they have the sniffles?

PRESS RELEASE FROM ALPENA PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

As the Cold and Flu season is upon us, we would like to remind our families that sending sick children to school can have a negative impact on learning as well as the health of our staff and students.

As parents, we have all had to decide whether a child’s illness is severe enough to have him/her miss a day of school. There are no stock answers, but here are some common sense guidelines to consider:

Fever: A child’s temperature should be normal (98.6° F orally) for 24 hours before sending a child to school. If your youngster had a fever last night, he or she should probably stay home, even if the temperature in the morning is normal. Temperatures are often less in the morning, and fever often recurs by afternoon.

Colds: As long as your child has no fever or particular discomfort, he or she may attend school. Please instruct your child on proper use and disposal of facial tissues, and remind him or her about good hand washing to reduce the spread of germs. If cold symptoms are severe, (thick greenish nasal discharge or frequent coughing that might disrupt your child’s or others’ learning), the child should stay home.

Vomiting: If your child vomits during the night, it’s probably wise to keep him or her home for the day to allow for rest and a liquid or soft diet.

Earache: Hearing is essential for learning, so never ignore an earache. Keep your child home and contact a physician.

Diarrhea: Loose stools have many causes; sometimes simple dietary indiscretions can be the culprit, but if the problem will disrupt learning or is accompanied by other symptoms (fever, severe cramping, etc.) or is persistent, consult your physician.

Contagious Infestations & Infections: Conditions such as head-lice, scabies, impetigo, ringworm, and pink eye must be properly treated before a child returns to school. In the case of lice, all nits (eggs) must be removed from the hair. If you aren’t sure if your child can return to school or not, contact your physician for guidance.

Other Symptoms: Other symptoms that may be the early stages of a health problem could include changes in behavior such as irritability, lethargy, loss of appetite, etc. Contact your physician if you have questions.

Please do your part to help us keep our staff and students healthy and learning!

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