BOSTON - Much of the nation, including New England, has been hit with the triple whammy of RSV, COVID, and influenza, pitting parents and school nurses against one another like never before.
And it's not just RSV, COVID, and the flu, but there are other infections out there like strep throat, the common cold, and stomach bugs.
Everywhere you turn kids are sniffling, coughing, and spiking fevers causing parents and school nurses to make tough decisions about when children should stay home from school.
Parents often send sick kids to school because they don't want them to miss out on even more in-person instruction. Plus, they're trying to juggle work and home responsibilities.
While school nurses, worried about protecting students and staff, are having to play defense, calling parents to come pick up their sick kids while reminding them about the school's sick policy. Parents are getting angry and frustrated, but nurses are pushing back.
So when is it really important to keep your child home from school?
First, make sure you know what your school's sick policy is upfront. And keep some COVID tests at the ready so if your kids get a cold or fever, you can test them at home.
But in general, any child with a fever should stay home until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours off fever-reducing medications.
So, you can't give your child Tylenol and say, "Oh, their fever is gone, they can go back to school."
If your child is vomiting, has diarrhea, or has a bad cough, they should really stay home.
If your child has had cold or flu-like symptoms but they're feeling much better and the cough is almost gone, it's probably fine for them to return, but check with the nurse so that you don't get that call in the middle of the day saying come pick up your kid.
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