Should we Send our Kids to School if they Have Colds?

coldsEveryone I meet nowadays has a cold, just got out of a cold or is about to have one. The colds and cough virus is so bad, the school of one of my kids even released a reminder to keep kids at home when they are sick.

My rule of thumb for my kids’ absence is only to absent themselves when they have a fever, other than that, a cold and cough shouldn’t keep them away from school.  With the rate my kids catch a cold, if I let them stay in for a cold, they would probably be absent half of the school year!

My high school child doesn’t agree with me. He argues that I’m only thinking of ourselves and not of the few other people he infects with his virus. He said all his classmates are absent except for him who brought the virus.

So I took a survey among my co-parents and all of the moms I asked would send their kids to school if they have cough and colds. Most reason out that a cold usually lasts for 1 week to 2 weeks and with the speed of school lessons, one can’t afford to keep their kids out of school for 2 weeks.

For my kindergartner it is easier to decided to let him stay at home but not for long. Just a couple of days when the colds is at its peak, which is usually 3-4 days from the time he contracts it.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, apart from asking ourselves if our child has fever we should also ask, “Is your child well enough to do the activities in class?” (R2)

Still not an altruistic response to my son’s argument, but it puts a little heart to my fast “no fever, go to school” rule. I had all too many bouts of bad colds and there is nothing I want to do on those days but stay home and rest. Our kids feel the same way too. Imagine no fever but with headache, clogged nose, teary eyes, sore body and they have to keep their mind alert for the lessons.  Body is present but mind is not.  Some of the websites also say that a cold heals faster if you rest it out on the peak days (day 3-4).  5 days of colds vs 2 weeks not rested is much better.

As to my son’s concern of contaminating the whole school! OA!  Well, maybe I should let him wear a mask to school since cold virus does not only travel by rubbing our eyes, nose, mouth with infected hands but it can also be inhaled through airborne droplets created when an infected person sneezes or coughs.  (R3)  Post Note:  He refuses to wear a mask.  Weird daw.  I'll ask the school to send out a circular to encourage boys to wear a mask.  Hope that will help.

And I’m asking him to wash his hands more often and be mindful of leaving used tissue on his desk. I’m sending those airline barf bags so they can stuff their used tissue there since they can’t get up from their seats all the time.

How about you? Do you keep your child at home or send them to school when they have a cold?

Go, Be Well!

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References: R1-Image Source- WikiHow,R2 - WebMd,  R3 - Vicks

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