Should They Stay Home or Go To the Doctor?

By: Jessa Goddard, Medical Reporter
By: Jessa Goddard, Medical Reporter

Knoxville (WVLT) – RSV, the flu, pneumonia, they're starting to make the rounds in your children's schools and daycares.

But do you know the symptoms? And when are they serious enough to keep your child home?

A sniffle, a cough, how do you really know when your child should stay home or go to school?

Usually your thermometer should be the deciding factor.

If there's no fever, it's likely a cold... And school is probably where your child got it in the first place.

If your child's temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher, he should stay home.

And he should be fever-free, without medicine, for 24 hours before returning to school.

"We can't keep all the kids with colds out of school or we're not going to have any children in school, but if they're still running a fever, they are contagious," says UT Medical Center Pediatrician Dr. Carla McKeethren.

These are some symptoms doctors say should determine when your child should absolutely stay home:
A bad cough or cold.
Diarrhea or vomiting.
A severe sore throat.
An earache.
Pink eye.

If your child says he doesn't feel good, trust your instincts.

If he frequently claims to be sick, but is fine on weekends... That's a sign there may be trouble at school.

But when in doubt, always call your pediatrician or family doctor for advice.

Pediatricians' offices are starting to fill up now, with cases of RSV in infants, while the flu is affecting school-age children.

So it's important to try to prevent unnecessary visits to the doctor.


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