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I keep kids home who have a fever, who are throwing up or have diarrhea, have pink eye, have a weird rash I think might be contagious, or who I think are too tired or sick to participate. If they just have a cold I send them.
So far Nathan hasn't missed school except for a week ago whe nwe had to go to an out of town wedding. Luckily he's a healthy kid. I've sent him with a runny nose and a slight cough which stays away with a small dose of OTC meds. Like mentioned above, if he had a fever or diarrhea or was vomiting, etc I would keep him home.
Well, I do this for a living (work with chronically absent students), so there is a policy that the local school system uses. They have to remain home for 24 hours after the last symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. In my child's case if he has a breathing treatment and doesn't improve (which usually means we are heading toward hospital anyway) he would stay home, but usually it's pneumonia with that and there's a fever with that. Otherwise it would have to be broken bone or a communicable disease (chicken pox, etc.)
It's gut instinct more than anything. I use the "well, we can't have unexcused absences so go to school and if you just don't feel well go to the nurse so we can have an excused absence." There have only been a handful of times that kids actually went to the nurse. Most of the time they get there and start feeling fine and just stay the rest of the day and come home feeling fine and playing with their friends.
Sometimes though you just know they simply don't feel well and need some rest - then I just tell them to go back to bed.
Mama to a few:
L (5-21-88); Mi (dn, 8-29-91); A (10-27-91); I (10-2-92); Ma (dd, 4-17-94);
N (10-29-95); S (10-13-98); Le (10-28-00); C (3-7-03)
My kids are rarely sick. In fact out of the 3 years my son has been in school, he has only missed school for being sick twice. Once because he asked to go to bed and he never sleeps so that was obvious and the other because he had a headache which he never gets so again obvious for us.