Thursday, September 6, 2018

When Should I Send My Child to School and When Should I Keep Them Home?

       It's that time of year again. The kids are back in school and germs spread quickly. With the rise in allergens and the drop in temperatures and the rainy season, it can be difficult to tell when your kid should go to school or if they are exaggerating. 

       My kids have only been in school for one full week and Tuesday morning, the first morning back since the three day weekend, my daughter saw that her little brother might get to stay home, so she's convinced herself that she is sick, too. She was most convincing- not!

      Unfortunately, for her, I determined that what she has was an allergy reaction to outside and gave her a little bit of her medicine. She wasn't very happy with me, but I explained to her that we don't stay home from school for the sniffles, cough, sneezing, or yawning. I wish that we could keep our kids home when that happens, but schools are under so much pressure to keep attendance up that there are only a few things that they want you to stay home for.

     So where do you find these magical guides to staying home? Does your school have a handbook? Ours does and it has guidelines for us to follow.

Here is the list that they (the school) provided for excused absences.

  1. Illness
  2. Hospitalizations
  3. Counselor, dean or other office appointments
  4. School related activities in which the student is a participant,
  5. History of chronic health problems for which proper documentation has been filed
  6. Death in the family or family emergencies....
And so on and so forth, but in the little lines below the reasons it states- 

Schools may require parents/guardians to present medical documentation of physical or emotional conditions causing a student's absence of thee or more days, a continuing pattern of absences, or a reasonable suspicion about the validity of a medical or physical condition exists. 
    What is a parent supposed to do about that? A parent should be able to determine whether or not their child should be in school and as a parent, I shouldn't have to take my child to the doctor for a cold in order to get something written down to show my child's school that they are sick. I mean, who's in charge, here? Them or US? I know that this tends to be a BIG reason why some parents home school their children.

     But, I'm off topic and I don't really want to spur an emotional debate over this... or maybe I do... Controversy does bring traffic....

     Any who, so this is what I recommend. Talk to your school. Get your face recognized and advocate for your kids if you get into a conundrum with the school, but until that happens, this is what other sites recommend you do for your kids when they don't feel well. 

This is what Web MD says:

Ask Yourself 3 Things
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you answer a few key questions.
1. Does your child have a fever? Fevers of 101 F or more are generally a sign of illness, so children should stay home from school. 
2. Is your child well enough to participate in class? If she seems too run down to get much out of her lessons, keep her home. 
 3. Does she have an illness like the flu or pinkeye? If you think she might, don't let her go back to school until you know he's not contagious anymore.
 Other sites like this one for Kids Health says to keep your kids home for:

  • Diarrhea
  • Strep Throat
  • Chicken Pox or other communal diseases and illnesses
  • Fever
  • Lice, Scabies, and Ringworm
  • and of course vomiting 
      I'd also like to add lost limbs, excessive bleeding, and medical emergencies like allergic reactions. In those cases, go to the emergency room and don't worry about the school.


      In a perfect world, we'd like to be able to keep our kids home from school the moment they exhibit any sort of illness... ok, maybe you're like me and think, "Rubs some dirt in it" because well, not everyone can afford to take time off of work  or what they're doing (although, I do stay home, but to be fair, I do a lot of work on my computer) to take care of our kids who can still function so you send them to school. We all would especially like it if that one parent kept their kids cold germs at home so we didn't get them in our home, but realistically, we aren't all going to be completely germ free unless we live in a bubble, but even then, it's impossible to be completely germ free.

      So, in conclusion, if you follow the guidelines above, you'll know when to keep you kids home and when to send them to school. These guidelines also can be used for going to work. I hope this list has helped you and if you found it helpful, share with all your parent friends!


  1. What a great post. It is hard to know exactly if your child is sick or faking it.

    1. It's especially difficult now that my kids are getting older and don't want to go to school. I tell them that if they are sick, then they wouldn't mind hanging out in their room all day. If the protest, then they aren't sick.

      I was also a faker, so I know the signs. *NoSympathy*

  2. When I was little I pretty much went to school unless I was throwing up or had a fever. I liked school and actually didn't want to stay home! haha

    1. I was a faker. Any chance to stay at home and sleep in, I wanted it. I had a difficult time paying attention, though.

  3. I don't have kids yet, but I think this will be an important question for me when I have kids - especially because I am vegan and want to pass on the lifestyle. Thanks for sharing.

  4. lol... great post. This also happen to me with my younger one. She wasn't exactly excited to go back to school this week and guess what happen.... Anyway, she got up and went to school after I tease her with some candy... LOL...

    1. It's so funny that our kids think they can fool us. I tell them, "I know what you're doing. I was the queen of faking sick. I can tell when you're not."

  5. This is so informative! Thanks so much for sharing your perspective.

  6. What an awesome post! My mom sent us to school no matter what, education was very important. I used to hate it, she kept us from getting sick so I never had an excuse to take a day off. Luckily it helped out in the long run. But, I do allow my kids to stay home if they are feeling unwell because I know how I felt during those time when I was that age. Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. I might have given in the other day, but we scheduled a mini vacation to the new Wolf Lodge by us in two weeks forgetting the kids were back in school for three of those days so We'll be calling them off for those.

  7. This is a very informative post. Kids will test you but the parent knows when a kids is faking it.

  8. If in doubt you can also check with the nurse. They will let you know. I always do the go to school and if you don't feel well you can come home. Once they are at school they usually stay.


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