Your Health: When to keep a sick child home - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Your Health: When to keep a sick child home

(Source: RNN) (Source: RNN)

School time is a tricky subject for some parents trying to determine if their child should stay home.

Doctor of osteopathic medicine, and pediatrician, Dr. Me'lissa R. Young-King, said there are some guidelines for parents. She said toddlers and infants will generally become more clingy versus being irritable. She said parents should be aware of some symptoms.

"You might find that their appetites will decrease. Again, they may become more clingy. Look for signs of respiratory illness," she said. "Even extra watery eyes, tearing of the eyes, and in some instances drainage from the ears and, of course, a cough and congestion."

Young-King said there are several ailments going around.

"We're right in the height of RSV season, which effects those from the newborn period, mainly, to 3 years old. So it's something, if you will, akin to bronchitis," she said.

Not to mention flu and cold season. Young-King said there is one symptoms you can't miss.

"Fever that is more of a concern to us is 100.5 Fahrenheit or greater" said Young-King.

She said most schools, nurseries and care centers require you to be fever-free for at least 48 hours before returning.

Some older kids like to pretend so they can take a day off. So we went to experienced parents and asked how to know if they are faking it.

"If they had a fever, that's one thing. I hadn't really thought about it. But you know when your kids are sick," said Edwin Hodges of Decatur.

Decatur mom Sandra Adair is a walking lie detector test. She said, "Basically it was their temperature. And you know your children and you know what I did. I knew when they were lying about it."

Athens Dad Jim Gregory remembers having an ally. He said, "We would interrogate them a little about the problem of staying home. And they would have to pass our smell test. My wife is a teacher and she would have to smell it out."

The bottom line is to trust your instincts as a parent. Compare notes to other parents. And if you're still not certain, talk to your child's doctor.

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