When is A Child Too Sick to Go to Day Care

Most parents like to believe that they’re pretty good at judging when they’re child is too sick to attend day care or school. However, more often than not gauging just how sick a child is isn’t as easy a task as parents consider it to be. Obvious cases aside, where the child is visibility unwell, say with fever or flu, it’s very hard to decide whether the little one is actually not well enough to go to school or do they just want to skip a day and stay at home.

While a child being sick at home may be a cause of concern for the parents (obviously), it’s equally troubling for the day care center as well. And that’s not because it’s an inconvenience to care for a poorly child in school, which let’s be honest it is especially when you have a classroom full of impressionable toddlers, but because one sick child can automatically lead to an entire roomful of unwell kids – depending on how contagious the ailment is.

You can divide a few common diseases in two basic categories. One, the ailment which still allows your child to actively fraternize and participate in school related activities, and the second that is debilitating in the short or long term for the child.

The diseases that are somewhat manageable without rendering the child unable to participate in school include:

  • Fevers
  • Colds/Allergies
  • Diarrhea

Fevers caused by cold germs specially do not render your child unable to attend daycare nor are they a threat to the health of the other children they come in contact with. As such, it’s usually considered okay to send your child to school when they’re running a slight fever. Basic sanitation gestures such as covering the nose or mouth when sneezing, or not sharing foods are enough to help the child through the day. However, persistent high fevers are a definitive cause for concern and the parents should immediately seek medical attention for the child if the fever doesn’t go down on.

Colds and allergies are two different types of ailments that are somewhat manageable in their own rights. Allergies, the ones that cause watery eyes and wheezing are basically a nuisance to the child but don’t really affect their productivity in school or daycare. Colds on the other hand, the ones that are accompanied by sore throats and fevers are usually accompanied by thick nasal drainage and sneezes make a child lethargically miserable and cranky. Allergies don’t make a child so sick that they are unable to go to daycare, while colds do.

Upset stomachs that cause diarrhea are only manageable at school in the later weeks of whatever infection is bothering the child. During the beginning of the ailment a child is likely to suffer from frequent watery diarrhea. It can also contain blood or mucous which is a definitive sign that the child is too sick to attend school. If there’s vomiting in the mix, it’s a sure sign to the parents that not only is your child way too sick to go to day care, he or she is also too weak to be left alone without constant supervision.

Other seemingly common diseases that render a child unable to attend daycare include impetigo, chicken pox, bacterial conjunctivitis or pink eye, strep throat, head lice or ringworm. In case you child is suffering from any of the following, it’s advisable to keep the child at home until better, or to seek immediate medical attention.

In cases where parents are still unsure about whether their child is well enough to attend school, it’s always a good idea to call, inform and consult the school itself.

Scroll to Top