When should I keep my child home from school?

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Guest post by Kristen Sherman, D.O., Mercer Health Pediatrician

When should I keep my child home from school? This is a question every parent has asked themselves at least a dozen times. In general, you should keep your child home if they have a fever, you fear they are contagious, or they are so unwell they won’t participate or learn in class.

Specific examples of when your child should stay home include:

  • Fever of 100.4 or greater. Children should be fever free, off of medicine, for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing that’s severe or disrupting child’s breathing
  • Extreme fatigue or lethargy. They likely won’t learn anything being at school if they’re exhausted
  • Concern for contagious rash (such as chicken pox)

Your child is likely okay to return to school with a mild cough and/or runny nose as long as they don’t have the above symptoms. If you’re ever on the fence, call your child’s doctor – they will help you decide.

Dr. Kristen Sherman is a pediatrician at Mercer Health Medical Group at Southland, Mercer Health’s primary care location in New Bremen. Other providers at Mercer Health Medical Group at Southland include Dr. Roode, Amanda Hurley, CNP, and Kate McCollum, CNP. Our Southland location also offers After Hours care available on Mondays and Thursdays from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Appointments are not required, but are encouraged. 

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