What to do when your child is too sick to go to school

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Find out how you can still take care of your child when he is too sick to go to school — even if circumstances prevent you from doing so.

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What should you do when your child is too sick to go to school?

As a parent, you know that days like these are inevitable — your child is too sick to go to school but you aren’t allowed to stay with him. Or you have an urgent meeting to attend at work, and you can’t miss it.

What do you do when such days roll around?

Well, for one thing, you probably already know that sending your child to school sick doesn’t count as a game plan. Doing so isn’t fair to:

1. Your child’s teacher
2. The other students who will be exposed to your child’s illness
3. Your child!

How sick is your child?

You should also not allow your child to return to school until he/she has been fever-free and/or hasn’t vomited for 24 hours.

Also, your child is  too sick to go to school if he/she has a cough that cannot be controlled by cough medicine given no more than 1 time a day during school hours.

But how sick is too sick? A child who is too sick to go to school is one who is:
a. Running a fever
b. Vomiting
c. Needs cough or cold medications consistently to control symptoms

Click on the next page for tips on what you can do if your child is too sick to go to school.

Sick day game plan

Even if you are already aware of everything that can happen when your child is too sick to go to school, you will still need a good ‘sick day game plan.’

Of course, if you’re fortunate enough to have an understanding employer who allows for family sick days, there should be no issue. But if you’re not, one or more of the following plans of action will hopefully help make the situation better.

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1. What about Dad? Will his job allow him to stay home?

2. Do you have the luxury of having grandparents or aunts in the same town? Having an arrangement with 1 or 2 of them to be the caregiver on days you can’t stay home with your sick child is ideal.

Remember, older relatives are generally happy to accommodate your requests, and are able to provide plenty of TLC to your child.

3. Offer to pay a trusted friend or neighbor; a stay-at-home mom whose children are in school all day. Ask her to come to your home to avoid spreading germs to her household. If she won’t accept payment, flowers or a gift card are definitely in order.


Of course, it’s always best to remember that the key to a successful ‘sick day game plan’ is to have everything worked out in advance.

While it’s true you might not know if your child is too sick to go to school until you wake him/her up, the people who will be able to help you should already know that they’re on your list of people to call in case you do  need help.

In other words, whoever you end up asking to help you needs to have agreed to do so prior to being needed.

There is no one like mum

The fact of the matter is when your child is too sick to go to school, there is no one else who can care for them like YOU — his/her mom. So, whenever possible, do try your best to stay home with him/her.

When that’s not possible, try to make the alternative as pleasant as possible for your child, by enlisting the help of someone you both trust.

What do you do when your child is too sick to go to school? Let us know by leaving a comment.



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