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February 20th, 2009
03:27 PM ET

Should I keep my child home from school?

By Jennifer Pifer-Bixler
CNN Medical Senior Producer

Last week my in-laws came over to watch my 5-year-old stepdaughter while my husband ran an errand. After a few minutes of visiting with Grandma and Grandpa, Arden announced that she wanted to take a nap. Nap? This is NOT a child who volunteers to nap. When she woke up, my husband put his hand on her forehead. Arden was hot. He then took her temperature. His suspicions were confirmed. She had a 102-degree fever. Arden slurped down some grape-flavored medicine and headed off to bed. For the next few days, our typically active 5-year-old was a couch potato. Apple juice, a fuzzy blanket and "Hannah Montana" were her constant companions.

I don't know about you, but sometimes as a parent, I’m not sure how “bad” it has to be to keep my child home from school. Some parents send their kids to school coughing and sneezing, while other parents let their kids take "mental health" days. For some parents who work outside the home, the issue can be complicated by financial concerns: If they don't work, they don't get paid. So when should you keep your kid home from school? Here are some guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Does she have a fever?

Generally, a fever over 101 degrees or a fever at the beginning of an illness should be a sign that your child should stay home.

Does he feel well enough to participate in class?

Every kid and every illness is different. Some sick kids feel good enough to concentrate and get something out of going to school. Other kids are so out of it, they are better off staying at home.

Is she contagious?

If so, keep her at home. As any teacher will tell you, classrooms can be like petri dishes. Kids can infect one another over and over. It's not fair to other children if your child brings germs to school. If you are not sure whether you should keep your child at home, talk with your pediatrician.

I want to know what you think: Have you ever sent your child to school sick? What's your rule of thumb? Also, for those of you with older kids, do you ever let them take “mental health” days? The parents I know are really divided over that. I am curious what you think.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


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soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. MuslimMum

    I struggle with this one sometimes, but other times its straight forward. The difficulty for me is when my kids are feeling ok, but i'm not sure whether or not they would be contagious. Sometimes my son, for example, might be coughing, but otherwise feel fine. This can continue for days. And although the cold he has isnt effecting him a great deal, it could possibly effect another child more. But then again during winter, if every child with a cough stayed home the class would be half empty. I discussed it with his teacher and sought her opinion and she just said not to worry too much about it as all the kids attended with coughs anyhow.

    Not too sure about mental health days, as my kids are too young for that. But i'd be interested to see others' views as well. Perhaps mental health days could help avoid days off sick.

    February 20, 2009 at 16:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. momwithastethoscope

    As a parent of two school age boys and a pediatrician, I have a few criteria in addition to what you mentioned. Rashes and visible maladies like conjunctivitis or pink-eye, usually will generate a phone call from school officials to parents pretty quickly. I knew my first grader wasn't particularly contagious this past May when he broke out with a big case of Fifth's disease, but out of respect for any pregnant teachers(Fifth's disease is caused by ParvovirusB19 & can have implications for pregnant moms and their babies), I kept him home.

    Vomiting and diarrhea are also a sure ticket for a day on the couch. While not visible to the casual observer, vomiting and diarrhea is really contagious.

    I don't have a problem with 'mental health days" as long as they're used judiciously. So what does that mean? It depends on the tempermant of the child. Some children learn quickly to work their parents' systems – I would be pretty cautious about letting that child stay home with any regularity. Others benefit from an unscheduled breather once or twice a school year.

    February 20, 2009 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Vickie

    My kids have been sick since November. My oldest daughter is in pre-k. The cold and the stomach virus just keeps getting passed back and forth. I was told by my pediatrician that it is useless to keep her home with just a cold. In the meantime she keeps bringing stuff home, getting sick and passing it on to her younger sister and brother. This week alone I was at the doctor's twice. Those co-payments are adding up! And I am exhausted! I wish there was a better way to control it.

    February 20, 2009 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Laura

    My rule of thumb for my 5 and 6 year old boys is easy:

    If they ask to stay home, that means they need to stay home. They are still at that age that they LOVE school, and will go unless they really feel bad.

    When they are older and perhaps don't like school so much, I plan to follow my mom's rule:

    If my child wants to stay home for illness, he must stay in bed all day. This is very effective, as I learned the hard way! It's not fun to stay in bed if you're actually healthy, but it's exactly what you want if you're sick! :-)

    Also, I have never, in 6 years, measured my kids' temperatures (I have four children, the youngest is 18 months). A good long look into the eyes of my sick child is enough to tell me if he or she needs just a good night's rest and plenty of juice, or a visit to the doctor.

    Some illnesses might cause just a slight raise in temperature (bacteria), but need treatment, while a short-lived sharp spike (virus) is not necessarily the worst in the world. The child might need more medical care with the former, yet if the parent goes by temperature alone, it might not be sought.

    February 20, 2009 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. BS in Bio

    The contagious question is kind of silly. What percentage of parents do you suppose have the expertise to determine when a child is most contagious? I'll wager its fairly small.

    To my knowledge, most diseases are most cantagious just *before* any symptoms appear. This is good for the organism causing the disease because it allows it to spread for readily. It's bad for us because there is really very little way to avoid getting sick occasionally.

    My advice: Keep the kid home for as long as their temperature stays above 100 degrees. For viral illnesses this shouldn't take much more than 3 days. If the fever doesn't break by then or they get worse after the fourth day, its time to see the pediatrician because it may be bacterial or secondarily infected with bacteria.

    And make sure life isn't exceedingly pleasant for the kids when they are at home, sick. If Mommy is waiting on you hand and foot, AND you get to watch TV all day, why go back to school?

    February 21, 2009 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Nana

    My 6 year old grandaughter attends a school that places great emphasis on attendance. Prizes weekly for perfect attendance, etc.

    In addition, her Mother was determined at the beginning of her kindergarten year that she was going to have perfect attendance. Also, Mom didn't want to miss any work to stay home and take care of her.

    The result? The child was sent to school with a combination of strep and pneumonia. She was so sick by that afternoon that her Mom finally took her to a doctor.

    What ever happened to common sense and maternal instinct?

    February 22, 2009 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jens4jesus

      Nana, THANK YOU! Yes, what HAS happened to common sense? I have a 6 year old. I do have the luxury of keeping him home without too much of a financial burden. My thought on this is, if they have a fever KEEP THEM HOME. If they are oozing with mucous and have a headache/sinus problem and are coughing-up flem; KEEP THEM HOME. I wish all parents could keep their sick kids home.
      When I was growing up, there were a lot more stay-at-home moms. I hardly ever got sick. Nowadays, people cannot keep their kid home and make mortgage. It angers me that we have to deal with all this sickness just because people don't have the common courtesy of their fellow families. It becomes a financial burden on more than just that initial sick kid's family; the ones who catch their sickness have to go to the doctor's too; get medicines, etc. It becomes a domino effect. I think it should be ILLEGAL to bring sick kids to school ....period! Employers; get with the program. Either that or there needs to be a "sick room" at school for those kids so they don't spread the sicknesses!

      February 1, 2012 at 01:35 | Report abuse |
  7. Alicia

    My 8 yr old son missed 1 1/2 weeks of school in Jan becuase of a fever. Not a problem, he was sick. However, last Tuesday, the school called me at 10 am to come get him. He had no fever, no cough, no vomiting, nothing that would indicate that he was sick. Their reasoning? He just wasn't himself. Are you serious? They made it very clear that he was going home and I had no choice. He spent the day with me at work, playing and snacking. No fever, no sickness of any kid. In my opinion, the school is teaching him ways to get out of class. He's missed enough, teach him!

    February 22, 2009 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Elizabeth

    As a teacher, I really appreciate the parents who keep their sniffling, sneezing, puking kids home. They're miserable at school and let's face it, they're just not really great with hygeine. Therefore, the whole class gets infected. I disagree with the mental health day concept though. When kids miss my class, I have to go back and reteach them what they missed. I can't just leave it to chance. So now I'm teaching my regular class schedule, which is busy enough, and having to go back and make sure that make-up work is done and your child understands all the concepts he/she missed. That's hard enough when he or she is sick. When you take him or her just for a mental health day, you make my job harder. Makes me want to take one too. Now multiply that by 25 kids. How difficult does my job become?
    I don't mind when they're sick but school is their job. You should be teaching them responsibility, not slacking off at the expense of overworking their teacher.

    February 22, 2009 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Terri

    If your kid is sick- keep them home! I am dealing with this RIGHT NOW~ My 6 year old daughter will be staying home again tomorrow! Perfect attendance last quarter- now 3 days in a row because of a nasty virus! (that she got FROM SOMEONE AT SCHOOL!!!) Now my 4 year old & 1 ½ year old son are getting it too! Think of the other kids that you WILL be infecting by sending your sick kid to school-

    February 23, 2009 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. kathyann

    I have a 15 month old son and i am worried about him
    from the time he able to move he bops his head al the time and although he show no sign of being sick and acts like a 3 year old i am scared this might affect his mental state later in life. do you think i should take him to get a cat-scan before it's to late?

    February 24, 2009 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Christabel

    I do not send my children to school if they have a fever, body aches or chills they will stay home or I will leave work early and be home with them. As for mental health days I am a full believer in mental health days for kids, even one a year or as needed. A parent will often know when a child will need a break, often times school can be very over whelming or a child just needs time to rest and to think. As adults we take time for mental health or at least I hope we do, kids are no different and in this day and age have so many more goal oriented pressures to do well in school, be the best friend etc. Life is short take a break, and rest when sick, the world will keep on going, and the goal is health, happiness and getting educated.

    February 24, 2009 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Valerie

    Presenteeism is bad enough in adults, and it should never extend to children, but as a teacher, I can tell you that parents often send their children to school sick. Even if you think your own child "can take it" think about the 25 other children in the class.

    February 26, 2009 at 22:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Ari

    I am now in my mid twenties, but my parents let me take the occasional mental health day in high school. Not to do things like papers or avoid tests, but once a semester or so they would call me in sick or let me go in late.

    Also – I wish adults would stay home when they are sick. I am tired of sick co-workers dragging themselves to work and getting other people in the office sick. Having one of them out for 2 days is a whole lot better than having 4 of us out for 2 days so they could be in the office.

    February 27, 2009 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • camillealaura

      Unfortunately there are working adults who cannot afford to take a sick day. They haven no benefits and no insurance and live paycheck to paycheck. Please don't judge the ones who drag themselves to work when sick, most likely they have no choice

      November 20, 2013 at 08:08 | Report abuse |
  14. Enara

    I'm at my wits end. I understand about keeping kids home for fevers, vomiting, etc. But what about headaches and body aches? My 10 year old daughter used to get migraines a couple of years ago. In the past few months her PC pediatrician thinks her current headaches are from sinusitis and has referred us to an ENT. My daughter gets headaches every day. Sometimes she calls wanting to come home from school. Lately, her headaches have been mixed with complaints of aches throughout her body. No fever over 100. Here's the catch... I have fibromyalgia and I ache every day even with medicine. I often come home from work and lay down for awhile because I'm so tired and hurt so badly. I understand aches and how no one can see that you're hurting, but you are. Even with aches you can do some activities that don't require a lot of energy like watch TV or get on the PC.
    How do I know if she's really in pain, and is it enough to let her stay home? Has anyone else dealt with kids with headaches?
    I think I will try the "you have to stay in bed, no TV" trick when she does come home though. Is that just during school hours or does it continue until bed time?

    March 2, 2009 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jens4jesus

      Hi Enara,
      My parents use to do that to me. They would say, "If you are too sick to go to school, then you must be too sick to play". That and, "we don't watch TV during the day in this house". Needless to say, I only stayed home when I WAS sick as I knew it would otherwise be a very boring day :).
      P.S. If I got sick on a Friday, they would use that same mind-set on me for the WHOLE WEEKEND: 'if you were too sick to go to school on Friday, then you must be too sick to go do anything on Sat. night' . I always tried to make it to school on a Friday because I knew if I didn't, my whole weekend would be blown :)

      February 1, 2012 at 01:50 | Report abuse |
    • Carrie

      Poor thing! Ever since I was little I suffered from headaches that led to migraines. My Mom's theory, if it's not broke or bleeding you didn't go to a doctor. Well now in my 30's I went for allergy testing, but I don't have the outward symptoms, i.e. coughing, sneezing, runny nose etc. I am allergic to so many pollens it's crazy I didn't know. Now that I know this I take a nasal decongestion and an anti-histamine everyday. Before I knew about the allergies I went to my family doctor, E.N.T., chiropractor, oral surgeon, MRI...I guess what I am saying is I feel so bad for your daughter and I struggled everyday with crippling headaches without knowing why. In short, my nasal congestion (which I am not always aware of) is causing sinus pressure leading to headaches making me more susceptible to other headaches. Since I am on a proactive regimen I only experience light headaches every so often. I hope my story helps your daughter where she won't have to suffer anmore.

      April 26, 2012 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
  15. sarah

    When your kid tells you they need to stay home. they NEED to stay home. im a freshman in highschool right now . and i know how horrible it is when your mom sends you to school feeling so crappy you can even see straight because she says evryone had to do things they dont want to do. so please for them letthem stay home!

    March 10, 2009 at 01:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Nunez

    As a physician and mother of two children in elementary school, I feel very strongly that children should stay home until they are all well- no fever for > 24 hs and with no upper respiratory infection symptoms or vomiting/ diarrhea or rashes. I also think it is important that the child feels well enough be at school and ready to learn. I think this is for the benefit of all the children and the teacher, who catches everything that comes around and then is in the awkward position of having to send the child home. Besides, life is too short and young children just shouldn't feel the pressure of 100% attendance. There will be plenty of time to learn about responsibility and punctuality later on. Personally, I keep my kids home any chance I get- yes, some might call them mental health days and they are good for the mind, sould and for family ties. I do, however, make sure that my kids stay on top of any school work or instruction that they missed. Also, I recognize that for many families, it is a big financial strain to have their children miss school repeatedly. Maybe schools need to have an infirmiary of sorts.... Nurse supervised area where kids can be at school yet be separated from the class and given opportunity to complete homework assignments ... just a thought.

    March 17, 2009 at 03:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Jem

    as a high school student I can say that there isnothing more annoying then a sniffly person beside you, blowing their nose whilst you are trying to do a test. I think that if you are sick, then please, for the rest of us, stay home!
    As for mental health days, they are important. Being mentally "unwell" ( over tired, overwhelmed, etc) is just as bad as being physically unwell. Teachers may say it makes the work harder on them i we stay home once a semester, but if we go to school not feeling well, it's even harder because we get fidgety, can't concentrate, fall asleep etc. and we have to learn it all over again anyways!
    It shouldn't be a habit, but highschool is hard enough! Just take a day off.

    March 25, 2009 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Sharon

    When I was younger, i would get massive headaches every day...(I did learn to deal with them) as well as massive ear infections. I now currently deal with miagraines and also have issues with my sight. Today I have two children on of whom is in kindergarten until june...He has been sick and so has his entire class at the same time during the winter. So I took him out for a week, then when he was better with just a slight cough, I sent him back then he got sick again...and yes I also hold for mental health days and am now just figuring on what my options are for home schooling...But I do agree mental health days are needed, and definatly keep the kiddos at home when sick.

    April 12, 2009 at 04:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. MarySue

    Well I have a daughter named Allie and I know she doesn't feel well today, but I'm not sure if i should let her stay home today. She already didnt go to school yesterday and it's early in the school year. She always looks very pretty in the mornings but today she looks ill, what should I do?

    September 1, 2009 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. MarySue

    Thanks to reading these comments I decided what I should do with My daughter! Shes gonna stay home with me today and rest. Thanks guys!

    September 1, 2009 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Enara

    I see a lot of people complaining about sick co-workers in this thread. I agree with you in part. However we should all realize that in many cases, whether you are sick or you have to stay home with a sick child, missing work may cost you your job. Sure you have so many sick and leave days (unless you're a new employee), but even using those can give you a bad review. Missing more than your allotted time can really put you in jepoardy. It's almost a catch-22; the boss wants you to be there, but the boss and your co-workers want you to stay home when sick. And like the article above says, if you don't work, you don't get paid. But what if you get fired on top of that?

    Another though/question: Isn't someone contagious before actually showing many symptoms?

    As for mental health days, I support them to an extent. One way to circumvent them is to take it easy on the weekend. Don't fill the weekends with tons of activities and chores. Limit the afternoon/evening activities during the week too. Some kids (and parents) can't go-go-go like other people. And we shouldn't feel guilty or make others feel guilty for not doing as much as they do.

    September 1, 2009 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Emily

    I can't stay home from school when I'm sick. If I miss more than four days of school, I don't recieve credit for my classes despite the fact that my dad and mom are doctors and capable of writing excuse notes. Why should I care about my peers' health? With these damn attendance policies I can't even take care of myself.

    September 7, 2009 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jens4jesus

      Dear Emily,
      Your parents need to go to the principal and speak-up for you and your classmates. This is a horrible way of thiinking! It sounds like this is a very huge issue that needs to be addressed and being that your parents are in the medical field, they might have some respected input. The requirements need to change and I am sure you don't really want to get your friends sick, right? You sound overwhelmed with the school policies. I will be praying for a change in those policies!

      February 1, 2012 at 02:00 | Report abuse |
  23. Derek

    There are so many opinions and all the answers, including those of the medical professionals on here (of which I am one as well), need can be based on some well known guidelines. The CDC has a great website full of information and surprisingly, even the physicians speaking up haven't mentioned it.

    One of the simplest rules – your child should be considered contagious and not return to school until they are temperature free for 24 hours... without the need of an antipyretic (Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen). For issues not involving an elevated temperature, if the illness interferes with their normal activity, or that activity makes symptoms worse, they should stay home and rest. Nobody seems to mention the fact that your child could feel better later in the morning and go to school, but late. As the parents of an asthmatic child, we struggle frequently with decisions regarding sending her to school and many times she needs a little extra time to let either medications take effect or for us to differentiate between her asthma versus possibly another ailment. Luckily, she is bright and has great grades, so she never struggles catching up. If you do have a sick child, cut them a break, let them rest and remember they will need some extra time and help getting their schoolwork caught up when they go back.

    December 14, 2009 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Eva

    Sometimes kids do fake sick. I've got an 11 year old daughter and a 13 year old son. They both hate school while missing over 30 days each year. You can tell if they're sick by taking a temperature check. Also if the kids want to watch TV and play computer, you can tell that they're just being slackers and lazy. I really believe that stomach aches and headaches are issues. But kids at their age need to learn to grow up and stick with their responsibilities. At a young age, I could see why a child might want to stay home. But personally, it's better that they learn it at a young age.

    January 5, 2010 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. luke

    i think kids should get mental health days. i go to school and i mean we only have so many years to live and most of those years especially the first 18 years are consumed by school, and then there is college then a job. the only break we get is about a 2 or 3month break(not counting the breaks in the middle of school) then we go back to school for another 8 or 9 months. so yeah i think every kid should stay home from school with like 4 mental health days. adults can stay home from work anytime because they are tiered or they dont feel like it my dad has done that before the adults can pick when they wanna go and when they dont. most kids at my school go to school even if they are sick its outrageous how some parents make thier kid go to school even if they got a cold or diarrhea with swine flu flying around that can be deadly!

    January 22, 2010 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. scaredparent

    As a parent of kids with various medical illnesses, the school is requiring me to have medical notes for all absences. That would be ok except doctors will only write notes for days they see a patient....so when my child gets the flu and I only take her to the doctor on one of those days, the other days she was unexcused.....school officials are telling me that for EVERYDAY my child is home sick....I need to take her to the doctors! At $20 a visit, how long do you think my insurance company will keep me if I have to take her in for example monthly cramps, a stomache upset with various GI symptoms...etc. Unfortunately our family seems to catch whats going around but school officials are ignorant or not informed that everyone is different! Not all kids are disease free because by g-d I would give anything for my kids to have perfect health! Oh and if your child is sick at the school nurse, they are not in class....absent! TRUE STORY: A parent had to argue for her child to move to the next grade because of her medical condition...teachers would send her to the school nurse.....the school nurse would monitor her there until her condition improved thus missing classes....and the school had the nerve to mark her absent for her classes even though she was on school ground!

    February 27, 2010 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Mandi

    As someone with past experience with sick children. I discovered that every time that I was going to the grocery store and putting my children in a shopping cart, they would seem to get sick. The all have had Rotavirus before the age of 2. Most parents are not familiar with this particular virus. I did not know anything about it until my first child suffered with it. He had vomiting and or diarrhea for 14 days in which he had to be taken to the emergency room. He also ran a high fever of 103. My second son also got it before the age of 2. It was the same scenario with him and lasted just as long. My daughter did also get it, but less severe no fever just diarrhea. She had received the Rotatech vaccine at which time it was not offered tto my other children because they had stopped giving the vaccine when they were small. I highly recommend to parents to get this vaccine for their infants and invest in a Germ Grabber cover for the shopping cart, this seems to cut back on the illnessness.

    March 30, 2010 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Carol

    I love homeschool. Although, even though we have school at the kitchen table with only our own family-our kids STILL get sick! Take em or don't – it doesn't seem to matter! Germs are everywhere! Maybe we could give them a better defense with a better diet that could build up their immune system. Since sugar cane tears it down, I'm going to try giving as little as humanly possible to them next cold season. A pharmacist once told me too that if you spray saline in your child's nose and have them blow it out, it helps to clean out any viruses that they may have been exposed to. I've also heard that after day 4 of symptoms they're not likely contagious anymore.

    May 4, 2010 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Zoe Ali

    i was also home schooled when i was younger and it is also a great weay to get your education."~'

    July 9, 2010 at 03:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Raine

    When a child is sick you can just tell. All moms should be able to tell the difference between a mommy I WANT to stay home and a mommy I NEED to stay home.

    My oldest is 16 and I let her have a mental health day every once in a while. I understand where people are coming from saying that it is not good for them to get far behind. I'm also a highschool teacher so I understand where teachers are coming from with the whole reviewing for the kid who missed school thing.
    Also though since I am a highschool teacher I see all the bullying that goes on. Day in and day out there is always that one student who is called fat and ugly and there is always times when you have a bad break up. Remember when you were kids? and break ups were the end of the world and you never wanted to be seen again? Or women thoes days when you just feel fat?

    When I was younger I wasn't allowed mental health days. I then had a break up after being the "it" couple, found out who my real friends were when they left because they just wanted part of the it couple, I also had a miscarriage and my best friend was sent away for bulimia. I wasn't allowed a mental health day, I couldn't handle it or process it. I then attempted suicide.

    Your kids go through a lot more then you know at school. Just look them in the eye and you can tell if they need a mental health day,

    Which should be limeted my kid can have on every other month. But she isn't allowed out that day. It's something every one needs to remember mental health is JUST as important as phyiscal if NOT even MORE important. Also tell me honestly have you never taken a mental health day from school/work? Some places of work even give you a paid number of mental health days. My husband gets 4 a year.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Noah Martin

    i was home schooled too but i would still prefer regular schools.":.

    July 22, 2010 at 21:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. NLP Book :

    my kids are home schooled and they are always performing well in class during their High School years~-*

    October 23, 2010 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. the middle school kid

    Its late and i cant fall asleep and when i do i wake up every five minutes and then during the school day it feels like im dragging myself and a ball and chain my head is a little warm and i have alot of stress going on. Also i dont learn anything when im like this. would tommorow be a good day for whatever a mental health day is? also my mom doesnt understand completely it is the WORST FEELING KNOWING YOU CAN DO SOMETHING BUT NOT BEING ABLE TO FROM SICKESS/ILLNESS but im always forced to walk five minutes in cold weather 2 thirds the way asleep with a 30 pound backpack on my back how could i get my mom to understand??????

    November 29, 2010 at 23:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Storage Chest

    i was home schooled when i was still very young and i have to stay that it is also a great way to educate your kids :"*

    December 16, 2010 at 02:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Debbie

    Well my 10 year old was off school because she complained of 'tummy ache' and looked very tired from about 4pm yesterday despite saying she had an "fairly good" day at school. Then in the evening she barely ate any dinner and, after having a class of milk, vomited three times from about 7-10pm. I decided I'd keep her off school for 1 day. Then she was okay today and had a small lunch but vomited 20 minutes later. She will be off school tomorrow. I won't send her to school for 24-48 hours after vomiting, this is not because of her school's rules but because of what I think is best for her and the others in her class. I would definitely say 'no' to a mental health day though.

    I live in England so I guess things are different here, but the school HAS to be able to give evidence so I'll have to give a signed letter when she goes back, also I have to phone them every morning to tell her she is off. I don't know if there is a maximum # of days she can have off, but I think if she misses 5 consecutive days (a school week), is off regularly (for instance every Friday) or it would otherwise seem like it she might be having a holiday then they will phone me.

    March 30, 2011 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. NIC

    Please, please keep your child home if they are ill. The sneezing and coughing from allergies are one thing, but to send them to school when they are sick is like saying that you don't care about the well-being of the other children in that classroom. My daughter is in 2nd grade this year and has brought home a nasty cold and a virus and, of course, given them to her younger sister as well. I get that a working parents can't take off every day from work for financial reasons or simply work regulations, but in a society where two income families are the norm, employers need to be more understanding of their employees who have children. Those who don't have children may complain that it's unfair and that mothers are given special treatment, but just deal with it. Smokers get breaks that non-smokers don't and they view that as unfair. Sick children should not be in school, they aren't a hundred percent and aren't learning as they should because of it.

    If in doubt, keep them home.

    November 8, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.