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Mommy, I'm Sick!

Mommy, I'm Sick!

Every parent should understand why their child does not feel well.

By FamilyTime

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Every mother has heard these words — very often on the day of a big meeting or when you have to catch a plane. Or at least that’s how it seems!

Your little one may be well enough to go to school but chances are equally good she is not. It’s your job to know the difference between a mild cold that won’t interfere with daily activities and a more serious ailment.

Keeping a child home from school or daycare is as much about the other children as your own. It’s not responsible to send a youngster with an infectious condition into a classroom of children.

We’ve assembled some general guidelines about common childhood illnesses. These should help you make the right decision. And of course, your family doctor or child’s pediatrician should be consulted.

Colds, Flu and Ear Infections
Colds: Your child is infectious from the day before symptoms develop and then for six of seven days. Kids can go to school with colds as long as they feel well enough to participate. Most kids feel the worst on the first day or two of a cold.

Upset stomachs: Your child is contagious as long as symptoms persist. Symptoms include vomiting and/or diarrhea, cramps, and loss of appetite. Keep your child home until the symptoms abate.

Conjunctivitis: Also called pink eye, this is highly contagious until treated. Keep your child home when symptoms appear and get him or her treatment right away. When the eyes look clear and there's no more crusting, the child can return to school.

Ear infections: These are not infectious but can cause considerable pain and discomfort. Seek treatment immediately.

Influenza: This is commonly called flu and makes anyone who gets it feel miserable for a few days with muscle aches, chills, fever, fatigue, coughing, burning eyes, headaches, and sometimes nausea. Children with the flu should not return to school until symptoms disappear and they are fever free. Children with the flu should be segregated from elderly adults and those with compromised immune systems.

Strep throat: Caused by a bacteria called streptococcus, strep throat is contagious until the child is treated. Knowing if your child has strep is determined by a simple test done in the doctor's office. Most sore throats are not caused by strep - only about 5 or 10 percent are - and most do not respond to antibiotics. Strep does respond, however, and in most instances, the student can return to school after taking the medication for 24 hours and fever goes away.

The good news is that most children are naturally robust and resiliant. Just days -- or hours, for that matter -- after a fever breaks, they will be as active as ever!

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