When do you keep your kids home? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 12-08-2011, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This school year, I have been struggling with the issue of when to keep my kids home sick and when to send them to school. DD1 is in middle school and DD2 is in elementary. DD2 suffers from a dustmite allergy, and the last couple of years, the school was a part of that problem (carpets, couches, etc. in classrooms). That has now improved since they pulled up the carpets. She does take medication for this. However, she still frequently suffers from morning headaches & we are trying to track down the cause with the allergist. She often feels not so great in the morning, but has no fever, is not throwing up, etc. DD1 currently has a virus of some sort causing sinus issues - doc says she's fine to go to school, but she just feels bad in the mornings (about 2 wks. now). Same thing - no fever, no throwing up. When I see them in the afternoon, they are generally fine. I vacillate between just keeping them home and sending them. This morning I told them to tell the teachers if they are feeling poorly later in the day, but the answer I got from both is that the nurse would send them back to class if they didn't have a fever. So, back to square one.

 

Do you have some sort of guideline on when to send your kids to school and when to keep them home?


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#2 of 28 Old 12-08-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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You know, if the kids feel yucky, I keep them home whether they have a fever or not. They aren't ones to abuse it and they actually worry about missing too much. 

 

Have you ruled out any problems at school? Often kids with non-descript aches and pains are anxious about something going on at school.

 

 


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#3 of 28 Old 12-08-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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Interestingly I just encountered this with my Kindergartener.

Yesterday he said he wasn't feeling well enough to go to school. No fever, just a cold.

Normally, I'd send him to school even with a cold. But hey, if my kindergartener who wishes he were the Grinch so he could steal weekends (because he loves school so much), tells me he feels to yucky to go to school, I'd believe him. So here we are on day 2 of staying home even without a fever.

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#4 of 28 Old 12-08-2011, 12:00 PM
 
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Fever or throwing up keeps them home.  Feeling yucky enough without fever or throwing up keeps them home.  There have been times where they have felt fine in the morning and then I get a call from the school later in the day telling me they feel sick so I go get them.  I trust the school and their teachers to do this.  It would be much more difficult if the nurse wasn't listening to them and just sent them back to class.  


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#5 of 28 Old 12-08-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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For DD2 I would get a 504 in place and take her in later on the mornings when she is feeling bad; at the 504 meeting I would straighten out how she will make up the work on days she is late; you'll need a doctor's support for this.

 

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When Schools Punish Sick Children Who Miss School. Public schools are required by law to accommodate the health needs of students. The plan to accommodate health needs may be called a health plan or a 504 plan.

 

Aside from the fever/diarrhea givens, other factors for me are if their illness kept them from getting enough sleep that night, or if they just need a day or two of not getting up at 6 a.m. to get better. Ds stayed home one day this year so far, though it probably should have been 2; dd stay home 3 days though it probably should have been an entire week.

 


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#6 of 28 Old 12-09-2011, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for those ideas. I do usually err on the side of keeping them home, thinking that a day of reading, resting, etc. is better than developing a full-blown illness. Seeing Race to Nowhere last night, confirmed for me that erring on the side of staying home is the right decision! nod.gif


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#7 of 28 Old 12-09-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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I keep my dd home if she has strep, a fever, diarrhea, or vomits.  If she doesn't though I send her home.  When my dd wakes up with a headache I have her drink a big cup of water and rest for a little longer, if that doesn't help I give her ibuprofen and send her to school.  Her school has ibuprofen for when she gets a headache there and they agreed to have her drink a big cup of water and rest for fifteen minutes before taking it. 

 

My dd gets sporadic headaches that her doctor said are probably linked to puberty so they aren't part of a disease that others can catch, if they were I would keep her home.  The women in our family tend to be migraine prone so keeping her home everyday she has a headache doesn't seem like a good way to help her learn to deal with what will probably be a lifelong issue that she will have to learn to work around. 

 

Have you consulted a neurologist?  I had daily headaches when I was a teenager and the neurologist was able to rule out the worry of a physical cause.  If you can't find an allergy related cause I suggest consulting a neurologist to rule out another cause or put your mind at ease.

 

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#8 of 28 Old 12-09-2011, 10:54 PM
 
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When they have a fever, an infection (usually strep), have vomited in the last 24 hours or have diarrhea they stay home, it's a no brainer. (Except for last Wednesday when ds had a temp of 99.1, and I dosed him with Tylenol and sent him to school -- he wasn't that sick, dh is out of town, and I had a final exam and a talk I had to give. bag.gif He was fine when he came home. No fever, just the sniffles like he had when he left.)

 

If they've got a bad cold and it's kept them up the night before, we usually let them stay home for a day or so.

 

Dd is always slow moving in the AM and would gladly skip the first 2 hours if we let her. the problem is that she doesn't go to sleep at a reasonable time. We do NOT let her stay home because she's tired. But it's not a medical issue.

 

For your daughter, OP, I'd wonder about :sleep (is she getting enough? I always have a headache when I don't sleep enough), medications (if she's on any) and diet, in addition to the allergy.


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#9 of 28 Old 12-17-2011, 02:17 AM
 
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I generally keep my kids home for a fever,diarrhea,and vomiting. The rules say 24 hours home until the last eposide.Then I might add a day so they are not going to school with a weak immune system ripe for another bug.

 

If they are in discomfort I may keep them home,but if I was in your situation I know I could not do it that often.Truancy rules hang over us like a cloud.Even sick days are truant days unless you provide a note from the doctor.

 

Some days  when the kids are feeling not so great I will send a note in to the teacher telling them my child not not feeling well,and that if THEY(my child) are unable to complete the school day I should be called to get them. The kids have always made it through the day. If I found out that they told the teacher they wanted to go home,and no one called me, then I would start keeping them at home.

 

It is unfortunate that your child can not attend school for half the day,because as you say your one feels better later in the day.We have allergy issues due to dust and possible mold.It stinks living off allergy pills just to function.

 

If my kids needed to be home more often than not then I would be looking into a temporary alternative. Some kids that are sickly are able to do their public school studies at home.Look into that as a temp solution.Probably should get a letter from the doctor and talk to the principal so truancy is not an issue.

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#10 of 28 Old 12-17-2011, 05:06 AM
 
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Overly tired gets to stay home and sleep in with DH.  Sick means, tummy, fever or anything coming out either end.  Just because... we do that too.  Well DH does it more than I do.  I usually keep the girls home on holidays they are not given at school.  Like Veterans day.  DH will find any excuse to let them stay home.  We've had to curb it a bit because he wanted to keep them home at least once a month just to hang out.  I think that's a little much. 

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#11 of 28 Old 12-17-2011, 03:23 PM
 
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dd had anxiety. staying home often when she 'doesnt feel like going' from K to grade 2 helped her not miss a day in grade 3 or so far in 4. 

 

sometimes too i have noticed if i keep her on when i suspect something is coming on she is well by the next day and able to go to school.

 

if i push her and she goes, she definitely comes down with something. 


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#12 of 28 Old 01-03-2012, 06:58 AM
 
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It depends on the child. When the H1N1 was going around a few years ago, we I am sure had it but no one got a fever while several people we knew were spiking fevers. DD1 went to school and during the day developed a sore throat. No fever, the nurse sent her back to class. She is not one to want to stay home so if she tells me she dosent feel good, I let her stay home. It happens very infrequently, so its not the end of the world. So now, if she is not feeling good, wants to go home and dosent have a fever, she has learned to tell the nurse she needs to throw up and then they call me to pick her up. Both times I have picked her up in the last two years, she went home, napped all afternoon and had a low fever by evening. I would rather she trust her body and how she feels than send her since I can do that.

 

Another time it was late spring and had several things going on. She was crabby, tired, etc. So one morning, I gave her a mental health day. We dropped her sister off at school, went to a farmers market and then had lunch. We dropped her off after the lunch hour at school and all was fine. Sometimes just a time out works wonders.

 

I got a call in early fall, my youngest spiked a fever at school. I took her home, she napped all day and by morning did not have a fever but rules say, fever free for 24 hours. So she had a free day home with Mom.


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#13 of 28 Old 01-08-2012, 04:33 AM
 
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What did Race to Nowhere have to do with illness?

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Originally Posted by Ragana View Post

Thanks for those ideas. I do usually err on the side of keeping them home, thinking that a day of reading, resting, etc. is better than developing a full-blown illness. Seeing Race to Nowhere last night, confirmed for me that erring on the side of staying home is the right decision! nod.gif



 

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#14 of 28 Old 01-08-2012, 11:27 AM
 
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 I have not seen Race to Nowhere,but I am guessing some parents/teachers are frantic if the kid misses a few days of learning due to illness.God forbid a child misses days for any reason it could lead to less college choices one day!

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#15 of 28 Old 01-09-2012, 05:22 PM
 
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I don't think it's as big of deal in, say, Kindergarten--but at some point missing a chunk of school does have an impact on the kid's learning (at least at our school).  I kept my kids home even if they asked with no symptoms when they were younger, but now it's individualized to the child.  There are some things that definitely keep them home (fever, vomiting, diarrhea--I keep them home until they are symptom free for 24 hours), but there's one that I would keep home immediately if he requested, even in the absence of symptoms; one that I would do so only if he continued to want to stay home when I explained there would be no TV or video games; and my DD I'd need to check the classroom calendar first to make sure it wasn't a quiz or project day first that was causing some tummy butterflies (which she gets over, and is better about communicating that's what she's feeling now).

 

Even when they might want to avoid something (like a test or homework turn in day that they hadn't bothered to prepare for, and thus were understandably nervous about the potential results, or feeling nervous about a presentation), my kids are often reluctant to miss school;  their classes do a lot of group projects and experiential/hands-on learning, so if you're out for the day you really DO miss out and there's not really make-up work that can be done, it's not like they can do a bunch of worksheets or whatever and be where the rest of the class is.

 

I kind of hate institutional school, but even I can see the value in class time, at least for our program.  If it wasn't so hands on and discussion oriented, I probably really wouldn't care how much school they missed.

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#16 of 28 Old 01-10-2012, 07:41 AM
 
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It so much depends on the kid, and the age. Frequent tummy aches or headaches (which can be faked) might be a sign of test anxiety, social anxiety, bullying - or the pains could very well be real, and still a sign of one of those things. Definitely talk to teachers if you suspect there might be something going on. One of my sons has serious anxiety issues, and they first manifested themselves as tummy upset.

 

Colds - again, depends on the kid. One who tries to milk a sniffle or cough into 3 days in front of the TV or computer - I'll send that one off with a reminder that he doesn't need to feel 100% to go to school. A kid who hates to miss school - I'll probably be more lenient about letting him stay home if he's feeling crappy.


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#17 of 28 Old 01-10-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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We are having this issue with my ds. DD never wants to stay home- Ds pulls my chain then thinks he can just chill all day on computer or whatever. He misses alot and I am trying to make some changes.  His biggest trick is saying he has diarrhea- now I ask to see it if I don't see it he is going to school. I wish I had a honest son.  He really enjoys his days home with me but I can't keep him out of school just cause he wants to.


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#18 of 28 Old 01-10-2012, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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What did Race to Nowhere have to do with illness?



 



Just the idea that taking a step back and looking at the big picture is a good idea. Missing a day or two here and there won't be the end of the world. We have, in fact, missed days for important family trips and visits, so I am not a complete stickler about sending them to school no matter what. I originally posted because sometimes my kids are dragging in the morning, but are generally fine by midday, so I am trying to get better in distinguishing that from truly being sick, esp. with a kid who has allergies.


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#19 of 28 Old 01-10-2012, 09:56 AM
 
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uh, fun ruiner!  Can I tell your son about the chocolate pudding and granola trick?

 

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We are having this issue with my ds. DD never wants to stay home- Ds pulls my chain then thinks he can just chill all day on computer or whatever. He misses alot and I am trying to make some changes.  His biggest trick is saying he has diarrhea- now I ask to see it if I don't see it he is going to school. I wish I had a honest son.  He really enjoys his days home with me but I can't keep him out of school just cause he wants to.



 

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#20 of 28 Old 01-10-2012, 11:13 AM
 
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LOL ha ha.... I would not put it past him to fig it out on his own!  So far this week he has gone every day.


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#21 of 28 Old 01-11-2012, 06:23 AM
 
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DD1 tried to tell me her leg hurt too much to walk today... and I told her "nice try"  then dd2 came in with a "tummy ache"  DD1 told her that mom wasn't falling for anything today.  HA! 

 

I usually try to keep them home once a month.  They never get sick so they like their down time with me when they can get it.

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#22 of 28 Old 01-11-2012, 07:19 AM
 
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My school-aged child LOVES school and I trust her to tell me if she feels bad enough to not go. In fact what's more common is her pretending she's well enough to go when she's sick. For me, vomiting, diarreah, fever, or if she's just really dragging and not being herself.

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#23 of 28 Old 01-11-2012, 07:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

My school-aged child LOVES school and I trust her to tell me if she feels bad enough to not go. In fact what's more common is her pretending she's well enough to go when she's sick. For me, vomiting, diarreah, fever, or if she's just really dragging and not being herself.


Yesterday morning, DD woke up with chills, fever, headache and vomiting. I sent her back to bed with a hot water bottle, fluids and cold/flu meds. By lunchtime, she tried to convince me that she should go to school for the afternoon. Um, no....

 

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#24 of 28 Old 01-14-2012, 08:18 AM
 
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My rule of thumb is to send them in unless there is a measurable obvious symptom like ... vomit, diarrhoea, fever.  Or they are in the recovery period after suffering with one of those.  They can always be sent home if they really aren't well & coping.  Bonus of being a SAHM is that I can easily collect.  Mine are moaners & would just like to stay at home with me all day given half a chance.

 

DD actually got 100% attendance last term.  First ever for any of my DC!


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#25 of 28 Old 01-16-2012, 01:55 PM
 
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Normally our rule of thumb is vomiting, fever, or diarrhea.

 

However, my son has been suffering from some gastric reflux issues and has missed so much school that he no longer gets out of school for vomiting unless it is accompanied by one of the other symptoms. We are getting him well and this isn't an issue now, but it was for a while.

 

In years past when my son wasn't sick so much I would usually be rather lenient on what I would let him stay home for. He didn't miss that often and so the occasional day where he probably could have gone but didn't really weren't a big deal.

 

My daughter gets migraines. Once she feels better she can go to school if she wants to even though she was often vomiting in the a.m. She's on new medication so we leave it up to her now. She likes school so usually chooses to go. Previously the migraines were so frequent that she couldn't have afforded to miss so much school so probably would have had to go once the migraine passed.


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#26 of 28 Old 01-18-2012, 04:45 PM
 
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Recently my first grader got sent home by the nurse due to a tummy ache. I thought she was coming down with something. Took her home, she watched a movie, asked for an early lunch and ate fine. She then begged to go back to school. So I took her. The nurse had a problem with it more because kids don't ever beg to come back to school! It was kind of funny really. But needless to say, my daughter wasn't really sick. I think she just had gas pains.


 
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#27 of 28 Old 01-19-2012, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of your input! I am just coming off of having DD2 home for 2 days last week & DD1 home for 2 days this week. Luckily, they read, do homework, rest, watch some TV, get some computer time, etc. so that I can still work. This time there were obvious symptoms for each. It just sucks that viruses seem to last so long now - or am I imagining things? I swear we've been fighting this one since winter break. Hope everyone is healthy today!!


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#28 of 28 Old 01-21-2012, 02:29 AM
 
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I keep mine home if they have something that is highly contagious to others (pink eye, stomach flu, sore throat and fever, etc) or if they're so ill that I don't think they're going to get much out of going to school.  I also keep them home if I feel that sending them will cause their illness to worsen, such as if they have the beginning of bronchitis.  It seems as though they miss at least 12 days a year - which I think is a lot.  However, they've never fallen behind and the school hasn't ever had any issues with their attendance.

 

Luckily my kiddos love school (and hate to miss) so they don't fake illnesses. (yet)

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