When Your Child is Too Sick for School

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Normally the “sick season” doesn’t start until November for students, but with the Enterovirus D68 hitting Iowa some are expecting a few extra sick days in the early fall.

No one has died from the Enterovirus, but it has hospitalized many children across the Midwest. The symptoms are similar to the common cold, but with a more sever cough, difficulty breathing, and/or a rash. Most infected kids will get better on their own. Children with asthma are most at risk for hospitalization, but this is the case for any respiratory virus.

For your typical sick child school nurses do have a few guidelines. Your child should stay home if they have:

  • A temperature of 101 degrees or higher.
  • Are vomiting or have diarrhea.
  • A sever cough.
  • Pinkeye
  • A rash.

These symptoms not only affect your child’s health, but can also easily spread to other students. When your child does not exhibit any of these symptoms, it boils downs to one question… can your child still participate in school activities? You should also monitor major changes in your child’s behavior. Have they lost their appetite? Are they more clingy or lethargic? If you’re still on the fence, Des Moines Public Schools’ Health Services Supervisor Marci Cordaro says you can always call your child’s school nurse.