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Is your child too sick to go to school?

She’s got a tummy ache and wants to stay home from school. How do you know if she’s sick enough to stay in bed instead of attending classes? A pediatrician offers some advice.

Sick boy and mom

Dr Joel Steinberg, a pediatrician at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, says following a few simple guidelines can help parents make the right decision about whether or not your child should stay home sick from school.

“Consider whether or not your child will be able to pay attention and function in class,” says Dr Steinberg. “If her tummy ache –­ or the medicine you gave her to ease the tummy ache — ­will make attending class difficult or uncomfortable, then keep her home.”

Other things to consider

  • Is she contagious? If you’re not sure, talk with your child’s pediatrician or primary care physician.
  • What is her temperature? Most schools or day care centers send kids home if their temperature is too high — usually above 100.4.
  • Has she vomited or experienced diarrhea? If you decide your child is well enough to go to school, be sure she and her teacher know how to contact you during the day if symptoms worsen.

More on kids & sickness

Foods & drinks that soothe sick kids 

9 At-home activities for sick kids

Sick child: Questions to ask your pediatrician

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