The Cough Question: Should Your Child Stay Home or Go To School?
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Trust your judgment. Your child may continue regular activities unless he or she needs additional rest or is showing early signs of red light symptoms. These symptoms may include:
- Improving fever. Your child can return to a regular routine once he or she has been fever free for 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications
- Sporadic cough that minimally interferes with activities
- Congestion may be present but minimal green or yellow discharge from the nose
While not 100 percent, your child is okay to return to school. Symptoms may include:
- Mild, infrequent cough that does not negatively impact daily activities
- Clear runny nose
- Active, playful, and rested
Remember, the most important way to keep children healthy and in school is by reducing the transmission of viral infections. Proper hygiene including the use of disposable tissues and coughing into the elbow should be encouraged. Frequent hand washing cannot be overemphasized. Avoid touching the mouth, nose, and eyes, as they are the gateway for unwanted viruses.
“I see over 30 coughing, gagging, fevering children a day, and these tips are what keeps me going,” Dr. Zarbock says.
And finally, when in doubt don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician—they are there to help.