Flu? Fever? Should you keep your child home from school?

Fever is the body’s way of destroying the germs making it sick, and it’s a common symptom of infections. Keep a child home with a temperature of 100.4 or higher. Wait until children are fever-free for 24 hours without ibuprofen or acetaminophen before letting them return to school.

Diarrhea is often the result of infection, food poisoning, or a side effect to medications like antibiotics. Keep children home until stools are formed and your doctor gives the okay.

Vomiting is another way for the body to rid itself of the germs making it sick, and it is usually caused by a stomach virus or stomach infection. Keep children home if they’ve vomited twice or more in the last 24 hours. They can return to school after symptoms have cleared up or your doctor says they are no longer contagious.

Sore throats can be a symptom of strep or a common cold. Keep a child who has been diagnosed with strep throat home for at least 24 hours after starting antibiotics. If your child only has a mild cold it is okay to go to school.

Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is contagious and children should stay home from school for the first 24 hours after treatment begins. Symptoms of pink eye include redness, irritation, swelling and pus.

Rashes can be a sign of a contagious condition such as chicken pox, bacterial meningitis or impetigo. Children should be kept home until they are diagnosed. They can return to school after symptoms are gone and their doctor gives the okay.

Earaches aren’t contagious. There’s no need to keep a child home with a mild earache. A child who feels well enough to concentrate can come to school.