When Should A Child Stay Home Sick?

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Now that school is in full swing and children are in close corridors again, sharing everything from books to germs, there is one question that is on my mind lately.  When do you keep your child home from school sick? 

I’m new to the school thing.  Although this is my son’s second year of pre-school I still don’t have this one completely figured out.  If my son has a fever, or is visibly not himself I know he should stay home.  What about that huge grey area, otherwise known as the common cold?

I’m laughing at myself because it sounds silly but this honestly stumps me and I could use your advice!  How do you decide when your child should stay home sick?  It seems during the school year my kids get some sort of cold at least once a month.  Sometimes it is a runny nose, other times there is an unpleasant cough involved, but it doesn’t seem to be holding them back in terms of energy.  Often when they get a cold they are still running circles around me.

This is where I get confused.  Their nose is running or they have a cough but other than that they seem fine.    Do you send them?  Where do you draw the line between staying home sick and going to school?  My favorite part is each time my son senses my indecisiveness about what to do he usually tells the teacher he is sick.  Fabulous!  Just what they want to hear I’m sure.  Someone forgot to pass me the rule book on this one.  Is it crazy that this one time I would actually like there to be a nice easy rule I can obligingly follow?

The last time I was unsure I tried questioning my son about what he thought (I was desperate!) and the response I got was completely back and forth between wanting to go and wanting to stay home.  Asking my husband resulted in pretty much the same back and forth response, so it occurred to me I need help!  Opinions please!

How do you decide when to keep your child home sick?  Do you have a system or a line of when to stay and when to go?  Or are you like me struggling to figure it out every time that cough comes around?  Any parents, teachers or doctors out there with some advice?

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