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Sick days: Here's when you should keep your child home from school

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Does it seem like your kid is sick all the time? Veuer’s Tony Spitz has the details.

Some parents and caregivers are asked "Can I stay home from school?" by children on a daily basis, but knowing what's best in each case takes knowing the child, the symptoms and the situation.

Dr. Tina Ardon, a Mayo Clinic family medicine physician, explains some of things to consider before sending children to school or keeping them home.

Whether physically apparent:

"A fever is always a reason to keep your child home. Symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea are certainly reasons to keep your children home," Ardon says.

Or more subtle signs:

"I also ask parents and families just to think about their child and how they're behaving. We don't want to send our kids to school either, if they're just not going to be able to participate fully," she says.


For some children, symptoms, like headaches or stomachaches, may not be something that they need to see a doctor for on an immediate basis, but could indicate something else, like anxiety.

"Parents and families are always encouraged to keep an eye on the overall picture with their kids so that we can determine if there's a larger issue at play with those symptoms," Ardon says.

She advises erring on the side of caution. If your child isn't feeling well, try to find the root cause before sending him or her off to school.

"Be thoughtful for the families and the kids around us. So it does help our kids stay healthier overall in the school year, if we're being thoughtful about keeping our children home until they're better to help reduce the spread of infectious disease," she says.


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