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raum's avatar

Should I send my kid to school?

Asked by raum (7841points) January 27th, 2019 from iPhone

So last Friday, my kid and I both come down with the flu. (I think we got it from our visit to the doctor on Tuesday. The rule of thumb is three days incubation. From exposure to onset of symptoms.)

School policy says you’re fine to return to school after 24 hours of being fever-free (without the aid of a fever-reducing medication).

However, Mayo Clinic says you are contagious five days after your symptoms begin. Which means we’re both contagious until Wednesday.

And since we both got the flu shot, that means the strain we caught isn’t covered by this year’s vaccine. Which means no one in his class has been vaccinated for what we have.

He’s well enough to go to school. In fact, I think he’s been getting stir crazy. So do I send my little germ bomb to school tomorrow?

Or do I keep him home until Wednesday? But that means he will have missed so much school. And since the school policy says he’s fine to go to school, they won’t be excused absences.

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14 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

When in doubt, do not send the child to school. Call the school and explain.

seawulf575's avatar

Send him. I think the internet has added an extra degree of doubt into our lives by giving us easy access to things like Mayo Clinic information. If it weren’t for the internet, would you take your child to the Mayo Clinic when he gets sick? The school policy is not medical advice, but is set to try accommodating most kids/families. If he has been fever free without the aid of medications for the past day, he is probably fine. If he is getting restless, he is feeling fine. If he gets another child sick, that’s just how it goes. Face it, we humans are social creatures….we interact frequently in relatively close quarters. We will exchange germs on a regular basis. That’s why we have immune systems.

ragingloli's avatar

We are not talking about a minor cold, but the influenza.
80000 colonials died from that last year.
I suggest you keep them at home in quarantine.

jca2's avatar

Since you saw the doctor, he may give you a note. Get a note, and then you’re covered.

janbb's avatar

I would call your pediatrician and see what they advise.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

It’s not much of an issue. Just look at Japanese people, they simply use masker (surgical mask) when they got flu and keep on doing their daily activities in public. I’m sure the teacher would allow your kid to wear a masker inside the classroom. No pathogen will be transferred so long as he keeps on wearing the masker.

ellespark's avatar

My child’s school had to shut down before Christmas break due to so many people getting the flu (about half of the students were out. My daughter’s class of 24 was down to 7 and they ran out of substitutes). The principal emailed a flu guide from the CDC which has this to say on the matter: “People with flu may be able to infect others from 1 day
before getting sick to up to 5 to 7 days after. Severely ill
people or young children may be able to spread the flu longer,
especially if they still have symptoms.”

I would play it safe and keep your kiddo home a little while longer in case there are some lingering virus and in case there are some with weaker immune systems at the school. I’d just call the school and ask for makeup work and pick it up at the end of the day for your kiddo to work on at home. Sorry you both caught the flu!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jca2 a parent doesn’t need a note from the doctor to keep their child home from school.

I don’t know how old your child is, but I think wearing a mask would make him feel self conscious and he wouldn’t keep it on.

If it was me, I’d follow the 24 hour, no fever rule if my child seemed perfectly fine.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: I know. My child very rarely goes to the doctor so she almost never will go to school with a doctor’s note.

I’m referring to the OP’s comment about ” And since the school policy says he’s fine to go to school, they won’t be excused absences.” If he’s worried about the absences being excused or not excused, maybe a note will calm his anxiety.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ah, I see now. Yes. I agree.

raum's avatar

So I called the school and our pediatrician and no one was answering that early in the morning. Then I called the district RN.

She said onset of symptoms is when he started to feel droopy (Wednesday). Not when he started having fever and chills (Friday). So should only be contagious until today (Monday).

She also asked what grade he was in because older kids are usually better at coughing into their elbows. Since he’s only in first grade and he only coughs into his elbow about 50% of the time, she said we should keep him home for one extra day.

But since that put us over three sick days, we would need a doctors note. Which is kind of a catch since we didn’t go to the doctor for it (the visit on Tuesday was for his sibling) and he’s more or less over it now, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to get a doctors note.

But I called our pediatrician and explained our situation. And they actually gave us a note without a visit! Hooray!

Normally I wouldn’t care that much about having a doctors note, but we are planning for a sabbatical this year and will be needing to use all of our absences towards that.

Thanks for all of your input!

raum's avatar

@seawulf575 Like @ragingloli said, if this were just a cold, I’d send him to school with a clear conscience. But this was brutal. Knocked me down as an adult. And I don’t remember the last time that happened.

@Unofficial_Member That would have been the easy solution if he’d actually wear one. He refused to wear a mask during the Paradise fires, I doubt he’d wear one for a cough. (We’re not in Paradise, but our air quality went into purple.)

@ellespark Yikes! That’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid.

Kardamom's avatar

Do not send him to school! My friend’s two month old baby currently has the flu, because several parents sent their child to the elementary school with the flu, and one of those children had to be hospitalized. My friend’s 8 year old daughter caught the flu from one of those kids and passed it to the baby. My friend and her husband and 8 and 4 year old were vaccinated, buy you cannot get a baby vaccinated until 6 months.

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