Babies and kids can get sick up to a dozen times a year as they build their immunity to common childhood diseases. Each infection can last up to two weeks, so parents often wonder when to keep their child home and when can they go back.
Children can be contagious for days before they show any symptoms and can spread some infection for three weeks afterward.
General reasons to keep your child home include:
- Fever (temperature over 100.4F/38C) in the last 24 hours
- The child can’t stop coughing and the cough is interfering with the child’s day or the day of those are her*
- Diarrhea that cannot be contained in the diaper or need close access to bathroom
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis). Children may usually return after 24 hours of prescription antibiotic eyedrops
- Children with strep throat may return after 24 hours of antibiotics
- Children who need more TLC than daycare and school can provide while they recover
The Bananas child care sick policy is a comprehensive list of conditions for which a baby or child should be kept at home.
*Despite the current “catch your cough” craze, sneezing and coughing are best done into a tissue which is then thrown away and then the hands washed. Coughing and sneezing into the hands of the elbow of clothing leaves mucus on hands and clothing which is then spread by touching. Use tissues and wash hands with soap and water. Hand sanitizer is useful when there is no soap and water.