• Are You REALLY Sick?

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    Deciding whether or not to send a "sick" child to school is one of the more painful decisions a parent has to make.  Especially if it becomes a daily ritual.  Believe me, I have been there and I feel your pain!  Here are a few, I hope, helpful suggestions.
    1. Being the parent, you know your child better than anyone else on the planet.  What does your "gut instinct" tell you?  Even if you have to make an unpopular decision that will result in tears, you are "the boss" and it's up to you to make the right choice for a little one who lacks the maturity to assume that responsibility.
    2. Observe your child.  Is s(he) vomiting, listless, pale, running a fever, complaining that swallowing hurts?  Or is (s)he wolfing down breakfast like (s)he's starving, galloping around the living room, wrestling with the dog?  Let common sense be your guide.
    3. I can guarantee that if you send your child to school with instructions to go to the nurse if (s)he doesn't feel better, you will get a call before lunch, maybe even before breakfast.  If you feel the child is well enough to come to school, just encourage him or her to try to hang in there.  We'll call if there's a problem.
    4. If you opt to keep your child at home under "questionable" circumstances, or if your child is sent home from the nurse's office and in either case experiences a miraculous recovery, please consider the following:
      • You can always bring your child back to school.
      • Staying home or going home due to "illness" should not be a good time.  Being sick means staying in bed, no TV, no game system, no after-school activities.  A good general rule is, "If you're too sick to go to school, you're too sick to do anything else."  If you have a child who tries to avoid school by claiming to be sick, this approach usually eliminates the problem because going home or staying at home is no longer fun.
    5. Please understand that if I call to let you know your child is claiming to be ill, I will by no means pass judgement if you opt to send the child back to class.  Again, you know the child far better than I will ever hope to and I will certainly defer to your wisdom and insight.