With the flu season hitting Phoenix, and the country, especially hard this year. Parents have been asking us for guidelines on when to keep their sick child home from childcare or school. After all, it’s been shown that children in daycare and school are more likely to get sick because they’re around more children more often, many of whom should have been kept home because of an illness. Of course, most parents will agree that sick kids should stay home until they’re no longer contagious.
While it sounds simple enough, a lot of illnesses are contagious before a child shows obvious symptoms, so by the time you realize your child is ill, he or she may have already passed it along to their friends.
Our first recommendation is always to bring your child to TLC Pediatrics, our Ahwatukee-based practice for an examination at the onset of symptoms to determine the extent and progression of the illness. Not only do we offer same-day appointments for sick children, TLC Pediatrics offers a separate waiting room for sick patients.
In the meantime, we recommend that you keep your child home from daycare or school if he or she has exhibits any of the following symptoms (all subject to the rules of our, or your doctor’s) recommendations:
Diarrhea and/or bloody stools, which can be a sign of a viral or bacterial infection
Fever, difficulty breathing, persistent crying, or extended lethargy, all of which can be signs of illness
Bacterial conjunctivitis (aka pinkeye) and yellow discharge from the eye.
Mouth sores that cause excessive drooling
It must be said that good hygiene is paramount to avoiding the flu, it’s also a good preventative for the spread of other infections. The number one thing you can impress upon your child is to frequently wash their hands and urge your childcare providers to do the same.