Sick Day Guidelines

“Sick Day Guidelines: Make the Right Call When Your Child Has a Cold!”

The National Association of School Nurses and Triaminic have partnered up to help parents make smart choices this cough and cold season.

Should I keep my child home or send him/her to school? 

Consider keeping your child home if he/she:

  • Has a fever of 100.0 degrees or higher
  • Has been vomiting
  • Has symptoms that prevent him/her from participating in school such as excessive tiredness or lack of appetite, productive coughing or sneezing, headache, body aches, ear ache, sore throat.

Keep your child home until his/her fever has been gone for 24 hours without medication.  Colds can be contagious for at least 48 hours.  Returning to school too soon may slow the recovery process and expose others unnecessarily to illness.

Does my child have the flu?

The flu is serious!  Call your pediatrician at the first sign of flu symptoms, which typically come on suddenly, including:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Head ache, body aches, ear ache
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Dry cough

If you are unsure about the best way to treat your child’s cold or flu, ask your school nurse, doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider.

How do I make my child feel better?

  • Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and put limits on TV watching.
  • Encourage fluids like water, soup, juice and ice.
  • Help your child relax by reading him/her a story and giving him plenty of TLC.
  • Consider using a cool humidifier.
  • When used as directed, children’s cough and cold medicines help relieve cough and cold symptoms while your child is getting better.  Read and follow the directions carefully and give the exact recommended dose for the child’s age.  Do not use over-the-counter cough and cold medications for children under the age of 4 in the United States.

How can I prevent my child from getting a cold?

  • Teach your child to wash his or her hands frequently using plenty of soap and warm water.  Proper hand washing should take about 20 seconds or the time it takes to sing “happy birthday” twice.
  • Teach your child to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or to use their arm.
  • Keep the child’s environment tobacco free.
  • Try to minimize the time your child spends with other children who have cough or cold symptoms.
  • Pack easy-to-use products like disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers in your child’s backpack to use when he or she is at school.
  • Keep all of your child’s immunizations up-to-date.  (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines now recommend a flu vaccine for most children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday.)
  • Serve a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.  Giving a daily vitamin may be recommended by your pediatrician.
  • After your child is feeling better, clean all surfaces, wash bedding and air out room.
  • Keep surfaces like door knobs, phones, remote controls, toys and keyboards clean.
  • Always make sure to consult your school nurse or doctor if you have any questions.