Sick enough to go to school

Are there some days when you roll out of bed and think “not today”?  There appears to be something wrong but you can’t quite put your finger on it.  You are not quite yourself, you lack that energy, that pep that you know can’t be supplemented with an energy drink.  It is possible that you could be coming down with something, the flu, a virus or a cold.  But whatever it is you have to make the decision – do you stay home, or do you go to work.

Now let’s say it’s your child who is exhibiting these symptoms, what do you do.  You are torn between sending them to school and keeping them home.  Well first you can be on the lookout for these obvious symptoms as recommended by WedMD.  These symptoms include fever over  (100 F), runny nose, sore throat, earache, cough, vomiting and diarrhea.  If this is going on you can rest assured school is not on the agenda, as a matter of fact, depending on the severity of the symptoms it might be wise to contact the Pediatrician.

Now know the difference between the real symptoms and the fake ones.  The ones you don’t have a diagnosis for (tears, stomach ache and sniffles) that at breakfast seem to come and go and sometimes disappear altogether but resume once you inquire how they are feeling.  Yes, those.

It is probably a good idea to give your child’s school a call to see what their policy on  students attending school while under the weather, so to speak.  We all realize that children should not miss instructional time if at all possible, but sending a child to school sick also comes with negative results.

Contamination is a major concern.  Those runny noses and coughs if serious enough may turn into something else and can very well spread (unintentionally of course), to another child.  But some parents just can’t afford to take off from work.  It’s not that they are inconsiderate of other children and their families, teachers, etc., it could be other stressful factors such as trying to find that last-minute babysitter.

One way to deal with this dilemma would be to try to have a plan B, or an alternative.


  • Be able to take time off if need be.  One thing about it, you must always be ready for an emergency especially with children.  It’s best to have days in the leave bank ready for use.
  • Having a back-up babysitter is a must.  It could be grandparents, aunt, uncle, someone who is responsible and reliable.
  • Once you notice the symptoms, try to monitor the situation carefully, you might be able to head off whatever is coming.

Sending your child to school sick does not make you a bad person, you are attempting to make a morally sound decision and there is nothing wrong with that.


About smallfitness

I am Dr. Martha Higgins, but my friends call me “Doc”. I teach physical education to elementary students and have been doing so for the past 15 years.

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