The American Academy of Pediatrics offers recommendations for parents with sick kids, saying they should stay home for fever, vomiting, or diarrhea in the past 24 hours or when kids aren’t well enough to participate at school. But many school districts have their own sets of rules for when a child can or cannot come to class. According to AP News, 25% of California students missed 10% of class days last school year, and the state responded with new guidance that says a child with mild symptoms can come to school. For example, children do not need to be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to the classroom, and a child with pink eye does not need to stay home.
Help parents decide: In addition to the educational impact of students missing class, parents are concerned about exactly when it’s okay to send their kids back for health reasons. Clinicians can be a resource for making the determination, advising parents on the bottom line of the child’s illness and recovery, especially if the school policy is unclear. It stands to reason that a clinical professional familiar with the patient’s symptoms and medical history would be the best resource rather than a blanket school policy. Read more about the number of patients seeking sick notes for work and school from the JUCM archive: Broader Issues Surround ‘Work Note Seeking’