Illnesses are sweeping through schools, when should parents keep their kids home?

Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Illnesses moving through schools, when should parents keep kids home?
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Health officials say illnesses are sweeping through schools as families are dealing with RSV, the flu, COVID, the common cold and more.

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Health officials say illnesses are sweeping through schools as families are dealing with RSV, the flu, Covid, the common cold and more.

But when should parents keep their kids home from school?

Clovis Unified School District parents and grandparents say this year is not like previous years when it comes to illnesses.

"A lot of congestion, coughing," Julie Ramos said.

She was with her son, Jacob, at the Sierra Vista Elementary Health Center Tuesday.

He was there for a sports physical, but just got over an illness that took over his Thanksgiving break.

"Over the week, last week, I've been sick with just like a cough, runny nose, all that," Jacob Ramos said. "Just like kind of ruined my whole week."

Nurse Practitioner Wendee Winter says there is a higher number of children in the emergency room with RSV. In addition, the flu is going around as well as the common cold and allergies.

"Those are all things we're all seeing right now and it's very confusing for a lot of families. You know, do I keep them home from school? Or do I need to take them to the emergency room?" Winter said.

Winter says your child should stay home from school if they have a fever, are extremely lethargic, have a persistent cough, or have green or yellow mucus coming from their nose.

She suggests parents make an appointment with their child's pediatrician.

Winter says parents should only take their child to the hospital if the child has a high fever that won't go down with medication, have uncontrollable vomiting or trouble breathing.

"It's important for our kids to be healthy and it's important for them to be at school, but we need to also know it's OK to keep them home when they're having these symptoms," Winter said.

As for prevention, Winter says have your student wear a mask if they're not feeling good, wash their hands regularly, make sure they're covering their cough and get them vaccinated for the flu.

The flu shot is available for children six months and older.

Health officials say they know doctors offices are packed right now, so there are a couple websites such as KidsHealth.org and HealthyChildren.org where parents can look up symptoms of illnesses.

The websites also have information to help parents make decisions on when to go to the hospital and when to keep their kids home from school.