When to keep kids home from school if they're sick

Pediatrician Lawrence Kagan, MD, shares advice for parents on which symptoms should determine your decision on whether or not to keep your child home from school if they are sick
When To Keep Kids Home From School If They Are Sick
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When to keep kids home from school if they're sick

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Obviously, we want our children to miss as few days of school and daycare as possible. On the same note, we don't want to create a contagion issue for the other children in the class. This is a very challenging question to answer because there are many, many different kinds of infections that your child can have. Each one is going to have a different contagious period. In general, no child should be at school if they have had a fever or if they have had a fever within 24 hours. Once a child's fever has resolved and they have been afebrile for 24 hours, they can return to school from a fever perspective. Runny nose and the color of their runny nose is a very hard thing to distinguish. There are a lot of different reasons why they would have different color mucus. In general, if a child's nose is running and it's not because of an allergy, then they have inflammation and probable infection in the nose and they are probably contagious. Vomiting is certainly a reason to miss school, and diarrhea as well. If a child is washing their hands well -- most children don't wash their hands well -- and they are going to the bathroom often, then they are going to spread that illness.

Pediatrician Lawrence Kagan, MD, shares advice for parents on which symptoms should determine your decision on whether or not to keep your child home from school if they are sick

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Lawrence Kagan, MD

Pediatrician

Lawrence Kagan, MD, FAAP, is a UCLA honors graduate, with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. He received medical training at USC Keck School of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. In addition to passionately studying neonatal, general pediatric and adolescent medicine at CHLA, he had the opportunity to train under some of the greatest minds in subspecialty pediatrics, diagnosing and managing the rarest and most complicated childhood ailments. Prior to opening Westside Pediatrics, he worked as an attending physician at the CHLA Emergency Department as well as at Cedars Sinai Urgent Care. Dr. Kagan is a native of Los Angeles and is happily married with two children.

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