General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

Do you follow the 24 hour rule when sending your child back to school after an illness?

Asked by Aethelwine (42945points) March 1st, 2011

Most schools require your child to be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to school after an illness.

How strictly do you follow these rules?

If your child had a high fever at 2pm Monday, but felt fine that evening and following morning, would you send them to school on Tuesday?

Would you give them that extra day to feel better, considering that is what the guidelines state for the school, and keep them home Tuesday?

I would love to hear from working parents. I don’t know how you do it.

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26 Answers

SuppRatings's avatar

Follow them to a T. Anytime your child is sick enough to miss school, they should see a doctor or Nurse Family Practitioner. They should tell you when they can return to school and you should listen.

I’m a working parent ;)

Likeradar's avatar

As someone working in a classroom, I sure hope everyone follows these guidelines!

Classrooms are germ factories. Sending a germy kid to school puts the teachers and other kids at risk.

cazzie's avatar

I don’t run my kid to a doctor every time they throw up. That’s a silly waste of time and resources for me (and I live in a country with one of the best national health systems.). But I keep my 6 year old home if he throws up (as per the rules at school here) and if he has a fever the day before, even if he wakes up feeling better.

Best thing to do is to teach your kids how to use tissue to blow their noses cough and wash their hands properly. Most illnesses are contractable before symptoms are noticed by parents.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@SuppRatings Why? If all they have is a cold or a flu, you don’t need a doctor to tell you that, and they can’t help a kid get better any faster. All you end up doing is paying more for your kid to be sick.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

What’s the thinking behind being symptom-free for 24 hours – I thought it was 48 hours after the first sign of symptoms that colds and flus stopped being contagious?

Aethelwine's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Good question.

My daughter has been ill, that’s why I asked this. She’s had a high fever at night (102–103) then a normal temp during the day. It’s hard enough for me to figure out when she’s completely symptom free. I feel for working parents that need to struggle for child care during the day. I’m lucky I don’t have to worry about that since I’m a stay-at-home. :/

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jonsblond Well, my parents only kept me home if I was on my deathbed, and then I only had a couple days to get better, and then suffer the rest of the bug in school.

cazzie's avatar

@jonsblond How old is your daughter? This happens to my son when he’s getting new teeth. His 6 y/o molars just came in and he had a few nights with fever. Could it be her teeth?

cheebdragon's avatar

There is a 24 hour rule?

Aethelwine's avatar

@cazzie She’s in 1st grade. The secretary told me fever and vomiting was going around the school. She’s had issues with fever and cough in the past year though. We’re worried it’s an allergy, but allergy meds aren’t helping. :/

@cheebdragon There is in Illinois. Your child must be symptom free for 24 hours before they return to school. I called the school Monday morning to tell them Emily was ill with a high fever. They told me they would mark her absent for the following day since she had a fever.

I’ve dealt with two school districts in Illinois. Central and Western Illinois. In central Illinois your child must be symptom free, including a fever of 100 F, for 24 hours. In western Illinois it includes a fever of 99.6 F.

I have no qualms, I just wonder how working parents handle this situation. When my sons were little and I missed 4 days of work because they had strep, I got a lot of shit from a co-worker. All I heard when I returned to work was “I’ve worked here for 15 years and haven’t missed a day of work. She’s missed 4 days in two weeks!”.


MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jonsblond Of course, when you ask people point blank, almost all will say that they’d rather you stay home sick than possibly infect them, and that they understand and support you staying home with your small child. It’s only when it actually happens that you’re a “slacker” and a “freeloader” and a “wimp” and you go down in history as “fired for malingering”.

cazzie's avatar

Have her 6 year molars come in yet? If there is something going around, she’s probably got that, but fevers can be an indication of many things. Is she sleeping, eating well? How is her energy?

Allergy meds? What type of allergy meds? I’m super weary of giving kids medications every day for non-life threatening issues….. hmmm.

Aethelwine's avatar

@cazzie I agree with you. My husband insists on shoving medicine (Ibuprofen and Tylenol) down her throat to keep the fever down. I only give it to her if it’s over 100 F or above. She has her molars, is sleeping fine and eating well, despite these last few days. Doctor prescribed Claritin the last time she had a cough and fever, but this illness is different. Just a fever and vomiting. Vomiting is gone now, but the fever persists.

cazzie's avatar

Oh… you didn’t mention she had been vomiting. She’s got the virus that is going around. Keep her home. If she’s not in any pain, leave out the Ibuprofen. That’s more for pain than fever. And if the Claritin isn’t helping her cough within 48 hours of taking it… it’s not going to help her cough. It’s a simple antihistamine. I wouldn’t keep giving it every day. But, of course, check with your doctor. (these are over the counter meds we’re talking about here…) If the cough is still persistent have her tested for asthma. In it’s mild form, it comes as a cough.

dubsrayboo's avatar

My youngest had a fever of 100.6 with a cough and I kept her home one day. By the evening her fever was gone and it was gone the next morning so I sent her to school. I didn’t know that there was a 24 hour rule on fevers. I’m also at home but it hasn’t been for long and I understand the crap you were given for not being at work to take care of your family.

Garebo's avatar

Yeah, I remember when my son was 6 years old, he coughed and coughed and my wife and I thought it was just a bad bug. Until he was damn near hyperventilating, we knew we had to take him to the hospital where we found out he was having an asthma attack.
I had three concerned nights in that hospital. So, it is definitely something to be looked at.
My wife who was very good caregiver was blindsided by the event, still to this day.
Then, I later got this wonderful ailment.
Asthma is becoming way to prevalent in this country and it not something to ever overlook.
I don’t intend to freak you out, but it is something to seriously consider. It is almost epidemic in this country now. The big question is why.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Garebo Thank you. We are looking for a new doctor for our daughter and it will be the first thing I bring up. She’s dealt with a persistent cough for over a year now. It started the beginning of kindergarten and has been worse during the school year, better during the summer months. The doctors have treated her for sinus infections and what they thought were allergies. She’s seen her doctor several times because we have been concerned. Not once did anyone tell me she could have asthma.

I think this question is a good example for those that dismiss asking medical questions on the internet. Our doctors do not always give us the information that we need. Asking random individuals on the internet can be very helpful. It helps us prepare for the doctor visit by giving us questions to ask that we may not have thought of ourselves.

cheebdragon's avatar

I wish this was a mom rule too, I always get sick after my kid has something.

Garebo's avatar

I agree, also your own experience and self-knowledge/experimentation will often dictate the cure.
I remember being treated by a doctor in college who said I had jock itch, (fun grad ceremony) then three month later in Idaho at 10,000 feet living in a tent for ten days at a time-I found my cure with a flash light.
No, it was not jock itch, you guessed it was nothing white stove gas couldn’t annihilate.-just a bad college mattress!
I sometimes think the internet is the place to find answers if you are careful and intelligent; persistent and tenacious to pick through the rubble.
Hope she is better, I mean she will get better.

cheebdragon's avatar

@Garebo Wait….wtf did you have?

Garebo's avatar


cheebdragon's avatar

@Garebo So you had crabs?

Garebo's avatar

yes, indeed, just another ignorant victim picking up a used college mattress in a Missoula MT warehouse. The salesman said it was tried and true.

cheebdragon's avatar

@garebo My 7th grade science teacher was a huge fan of freaking students out by forcing us to watch the BodyBugs documentary. Once a month we had to watch and take 50 notes. Traumatized me for life. So much so that I’d be sleeping on a damn lawnchair before I’d touch a used college mattress.

cazzie's avatar

My mother had heard about the mattress problem and sent me to school with a new one. No WAY was she letting me sleep on an old one.

Aethelwine's avatar

Yuck. My oldest is sleeping in his dorm room right now on a used mattress. :/

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