How do I know if my child is too sick for school?

Real Mom Problem

“How do you determine whether to keep your sick kid home or send them to school? School says if there is a fever over 100 they should stay home. What if they have a cough? A runny nose? Do you send them with a common cold? ”

by mom23heathens mom23heathens

Quick Tips

  • 1. Check with your child's school to see if there is a policy for absences and illnesses
  • 2. Children with high fevers, vomiting, and diarrhea should not go to school
  • 3. Trust your instincts. Even if your child does not have a fever, he may be too uncomfortable for school
  • 4. Always consult your child's doctor if you have questions or concerns about his or her health
  • 5. Remember, the answers below are not medical advice and should not be relied on as medical advice or used in lieu of speaking with a medical professional

Real Mom Solutions

It can be difficult to decide when to keep a sick kid home from school. Read the opinions of these experienced moms before making the choice that feels best for your child.

Fever & Tummy Issues: No School

  • soymujer

    If they aren't puking or don't have a high fever, they go to school. If they think they may puke, I keep them home. Stuff like colds, I send them on.

  • TurtleMomma82

    I send my kids to school unless they have a fever, vomiting or bathroom issues. If it's just a runny nose or small cough, it's usually allergies. Although, if the stuff coming out of their nose is yellow or the cough is pretty severe, I'll keep them home just in case.

  • careyphotoo

    If my son throws up or has a fever I'll keep him home, but otherwise, if it's just a cold or cough, I'll send him!

Just a Cold: Off to School

  • skylersmom44

    I couldn't keep my son home every time he caught a cold or he would miss half the year I think. If he has a fever or is throwing up, he will stay home.

  • Rychelle

    If my kids stayed home every time they had a cold, cough, runny nose, they'd never be at school. My son has breathing issues and allergies and he gets that barking cough that can last for weeks. If they have a fever, throwing up, tummy issues, really sore throat, they stay home. Otherwise it's off to school.

  • lovemyfamily864

    Yep, it's school policy that unless they have a fever or are otherwise seriously ill, they have to go to school. It doesn't matter anyway; kids are contagious before they even show symptoms. Even if every child stayed home every time they are sick, kids would still get sick from other kids at school.

  • AngeLnChainZ

    If he has the sniffles and a cough, yes I do send him. If he stayed home every time he had a little cold he would never be in school. If he is running a fever, has diarrhea, or is throwing up, no I don't. My son doesn't usually pull the 'I'm sick' card unless he genuinely doesn't feel good so I usually listen to him. If he stays home, he goes to the doctor though.

  • steelcrazy

    I don't send them with a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting. If they have been to the pediatrician and the doctor says to keep them home for a certain number of days, then I do. Otherwise, they go to school. A cough and/or a runny nose is not a good reason to keep them home. Those can last for weeks on end and missing weeks of school for the common cold isn't necessary.

Not Sure: Trust Your Instincts

  • jaytee

    Usually I keep them home for fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. I have kept them home when I've known they were completely miserable from a headache or cold though.

  • thebailiffs

    Anything contiguous they stay home. I have a great test: are they willing to be in PJs in their bed or on the couch? If so, they stay home. My son said he was too sick to go to school. I said "Ok, are you willing to get in PJs and stay in bed or on the couch the whole day?" He said no way. I drove him to school. I can always tell when they are too sick.

  • mitikusmom

    If they are sniffly without a fever I send them. Other then that, if there is anything coming out of either end, if they have anything resembling a fever, or if they haven't slept well because of whatever illness they have, I don't hesitate to keep them home.

  • gotnothinonme

    It's hard to say. Fever, vomiting - definitely no; cough/running nose - maybe, depends on how harsh/loud/constant the cough is. Some coughs just linger forever though and they have to get back to school.

  • Dimples04

    I kept my daughter home after she was coughing so hard she got very little sleep (was exhausted). No fever or any other symptoms. Doctor gave her antibiotic and said she could go to school the next day.

  • paulswife208

    If there's no fever or throwing up, I just use my gut. Do they look like they could make it through the day? They can go. If they don't, then they stay home.

  • momtoonein06

    If no fever and just a runny nose, yeah I have sent my son to school. Only time I would keep him home is if he was throwing up or had diarrhea and just not feeling himself. You know your child, use your judgment.

  • wakymom

    If they have a fever or are throwing up, they stay home, no questions. Anything else, I go by how they are feeling/acting. I kept my son home one day, even though he had no fever and was not throwing up, just because his cold had him miserable. I just went with my instincts, and he spent most of the day not arguing about being confined to the sofa, so I know he needed that day of rest.

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