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When to keep your child home from school

Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 12:22 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - It’s no secret that kids have the potential to get sick when they go back to school. But this year, how can you spot the difference between COVID-19, a common cold or the flu?

Dr. Rebecca Reddy with Redbud Pediatrics says there is some overlap when it comes to symptoms for colds, allergies and even COVID-19. She said if your child has a sore throat coming on over a day or two it’s most likely a cold, but a runny nose comes with colds and allergies.

“If they have fever, you know its a viral illness or something else,” says Dr. Reddy.

She says a large percentage of healthy children don’t have a lot of severe symptoms for COVID, but if they do, they need to be screened.

″If your child has cold symptoms that you feel are severe such as a fever over 102 or flu-like symptoms or achy, their body hurts them or their energy level is really poor or they are sleeping a lot more, that would make me worry enough I’d want to screen your child for COVID,” she said.

Karen Larcom, the district nurse for El Dorado Public Schools, says she’s seen anywhere from 40 to 100 students in one day in past years. She said it’s been challenging with the unknown, but like most districts, hers has a plan.

“We’ve created a separate waiting health room so anyone that may be feeling like they have COVID symptoms would go directly there rather than our regular nurse’s office,” she said.

Students are already back in the classroom in El Dorado. They scan their wrists with a thermometer before they walk through the door to check for fever, and they wear their masks.

“They are all so happy to be back and are wearing their masks and we haven’t had any issues,” said Larcom.

To keep it that way, Dr. Reddy says you should keep your child home if you think they’re ill.

“If your symptoms are significant enough that their teacher is going to notice or say they will be needing multiple kleenexes in the classroom or they are coughing, your kid is probably going to need to stay home,” said Dr. Redbud.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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