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When should my child's sickness keep her home, and when can I send her to school?

Pediatrician
Mattel Children's Hospital, UCLA

... Generally speaking, she can be around other kids once her fever has been gone for 24 hours and she is feeling better. If your child has been placed on an antibiotic for any reason, she should receive the medication for at least 24 hours before being around other children.

If you kept your child home every time he had the sniffles he'd never be in school. And the older he gets, the harder it is to make up missed schoolwork. So if he feels okay and doesn't have a fever, he should be in school. But, if your child has a fever (temperature over 100.3), is vomiting, having bad diarrhea, coughing up a storm, has pain interfering with activity, or really isn't feeling well, keep him at home until these symptoms are under control.

Often it's the milder symptoms (such as slight runny nose and cough) that leave parents wondering what to do. Only you can make that game-day decision, but be considerate of others. Before you take him out, think to yourself, would I want another child with the same symptoms around my son? You can always check with your child care or preschool. They may have specific guidelines for when previously sick children can return.

You know your child best, so if you think something is wrong, don't send him to school. If you're concerned, call your pediatrician.