So it’s the season when coughs, sneezes and stomach bugs are doing the rounds, with only a few of us being lucky enough to escape without feeling poorly at some stage during the winter season. And when it comes to children, the fact that they have developing immune systems, don’t always fully follow the rules of good hygiene and are often in close confines with many others at schools and nurseries means that they are very likely to catch something at some stage. But when your child is feeling under the weather, what are the sensible rules about when they should be at school and when they should be kept at home?
If you were to keep your child off school every time they had a bit of a cold or a cough then they would inevitably miss some key learning opportunities. If your child seems well and isn’t running a temperature, then it is mostly fine to send them to school. The best way to ensure they don’t infect others or indeed, catch illnesses from other people, is to encourage them to learn good hygiene skills such as hand washing, sneezing into tissues and then throwing them away.
A sore throat can be an unpleasant experience. If your child’s temperature is raised, then it is more likely that they have an illness such as tonsillitis which needs a visit to the doctors. But if the temperature is within a normal range, then they can go to school. Consider giving them some painkillers to make their throat more comfortable throughout the day.
There is similar advice when it comes to earache. Sore ears when combined with high temperatures are a sign that there is something more going on and your child needs to stay at home. If your child is distressed with pain in their ears, there is redness or discharge, then it’s time to seek medical advice.
Vomiting and diarrhoea and the dreaded norovirus are common over the winter months and are highly unpleasant to experience. In order to avoid spreading these easily, you must keep your child at home, not only while they are poorly, but for two days after they are feeling better also.