Ask the Principal: How do I know when to keep my child home due to sickness?

Turner Valley School Principal Answers Parents’ Questions

sick-child-clipart-e1412802333631Sometimes this can be a hard decision. As a parent you know your child best and each child responds to sickness and pain differently. When a student is ill, it is often undesirable for him or her to be at school. He or she may regain health more slowly, learn little and spread the illness to others in the class. The best place for a sick child is usually at home in bed.

The easiest decision is if there are symptoms; fever, throwing up, nausea, uncontrollable coughing etc. Obviously these are times a child cannot be at school. Alberta Health Services even recommends that kids who had the flu stay home up to 48 hours after symptoms are gone as they are contagious. The hard part is when your child says their stomach hurts or has a runny nose. This is where you have to make the call for your child. I have one daughter that no matter how bad she feels, will try to suck it up and say she is okay as she loves school. So we know if she says she is sick we keep her home. I have another daughter who at times will complain of a stomach ache and wants to stay home, but we have learned that she can manage just fine and the rule for her is we need to see more symptoms before she can stay home.

We have many students who miss too much school because they do not feel well but are fine by noon or after school. They may also say that they are not feeling well but it is due to stress (didn’t get their homework done, friend issues, etc.), but staying home during these times hinders students from facing real life situations and handling problems and encourages the sick behaviour as a coping method.

As a reminder, it is also the student’s responsibility to find out what work was missed and catch up. If the student is absent for an acceptable reason he/she will receive every consideration from the teachers to assist in completing the work missed.

Please help by contacting the school between 8:15 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. if your child will be absent for the day.This is designed to ensure that no child is lost or in trouble between the home and school during the morning. Below is a link regarding flu and cold symptoms from Alberta Health Services if you are looking for more information.

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