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When Should You Send Your Child Back To School After He Falls Sick

by Contributing Writer Mrs. Heffalump

We all know that there are flu seasons and during this time we all need to be extra vigilant that we do not spread germs and try to keep everyone as healthy as possible. The general time period recommended by professionals is that sick children stay at home until they have fully recovered or their medication has been given and 24 hours after symptoms’ have improved. This is to prevent the spread of the virus to other children.

childsickImage Courtesy Gett Images

I know that many parents work full time and most times its both parents who go to work and its maids or grandparents who look after the kids during work hours. Sometimes children are sent back to school within a day or two with their medication given and most times the medicine causes drowsiness and lethargic. Determining when you should send your child back to school after he falls sick is tricky, I can tell you with experience because my child can have a fever over a 100, throw up more than 8 times, would not have eaten anything but still be bubblier than a bunny rabbit within a few hours of medication. Nevertheless just consider the following signs and symptoms before making a decision.


The first signs of us thinking our child is sick are when they run a temperature. (My husband is spot on with his assumptions. Always.) If your child has a fever above 37 degrees C or 99.5 degrees F it is obviously best to keep him at home. Fever is one of the first signs that indicate that the body is fighting off infection and your child can spread the germ to others. In Sri Lanka we always call our doctors and if they have fever, panadol is the first prescribed medicine given but always check with your doctor first. I never give panadol unless required. Wait at least 24 hours until the fever has gone down and your child is without medication before sending them back to school.


If your child acts particularly different to his or her normal behavior in the morning – is falling asleep or having teary eyes make sure they get some rest and are well hydrated.

Red eyes, runny nose

This distracts a child from learning and concentrating. Difficult for a child to manage and is quite irritable. Check with your doctor about these symptoms and it’s advisable to send your little one to school until these signs are cleared up and your child is well.

Persisitant cough or sore throat.

A persisitive cough will normally be disruptive in a class and is one of the major ways of spreading a flu. Children generally tend to forget to close their mouths while coughing. If they indicate they have a sore throat keep them at home until its nearly gone or easily controlled.

Vomiting and diarrhea

Obvious reasons for your child to stay at home. They are difficult to handle at school. Your child is uncomfortable and your child is capable of spreading the germ.


We never know what they are and are very contagious. Please call your doctor or keep them at home until the rash has gone off.

Appearance and Attitude

Does your child look pale or tired? Does he or she act irritable or seem disinterested in regular daily activities? Are you having a hard time getting your child to eat anything? These are all signs that more recovery time is needed at home.

Some schools require a medical certificate or a letter from a doctor. Check with your school or montessori about these guidelines.

Mrs Heffalump is a Mom of one lovely little boy and would love a whole battalion of sons around the whole house! She loves love loves doing art & crafts, is an absolute control freak and can be slightly OCD. Mrs Heffalump is also a qualified Montessori Teacher, has her Diploma In Child Psychology , A British Council Approved Teacher and was working in a leading International School.nestle-banner

You know your child and know his personality. Trust your intuition.

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