Keep Flu Out of School Parentsguardians


When and how long to keep him home from school. In a few days the schools will reopen their doors and, like every year, click here the ailments will reappear and then, throughout the school year, will circulate in the classrooms: coughs, colds, fever, gastrointestinal disorders, but also conjunctivitis, pediculosis and infectious diseases will appear above all among the youngest children of nursery schools and nursery schools.

Unlike a few decades ago, when getting sick meant staying at home for days and days, today the return to class is very rapid: as long as the fever passes to return to school, even if you cough repeatedly and your nose still runs .

The child who gets sick

It happens because most families cannot afford not to go to work or to call a babysitter to look after a sick child.

But how to be sure not to send a child back to school too early, putting him and his classmates at risk?

There is no need to be in a hurry, especially with the little ones: before the age of five or six the immune system is not yet well developed and therefore one is more “defenceless” against viruses, which circulate in abundance in the classrooms and throughout the year school – observes Giuseppe Mele, president of the National Observatory for the health of children and adolescents Paidòss -.

The most common diseases of the airways, even the most trivial (such as rhinitis, otitis or pharyngitis, ed), require five to seven days to resolve: sending a child who has not yet recovered well to school means exposing him to recurring diseases. Rhinosinusitis, for example, is often the result of poorly treated colds

Paranasal Sinuses

Adequate convalescence ensures that the child goes back to school stronger and does not get sick again, perhaps with something worse: if, for example, you had to take antibiotics for six or seven days due to an ear infection, it is better to wait for more three or four before returning – confirms Giuseppe Di Mauro, president of the Italian Society of Preventive and Social Pediatrics (SIPPS) -.

Paranasal Sinuses

Having said that, the ideal would be to be able to organize oneself to prevent the child from having to go to the nursery in the first year of life; after two, three years instead attending school and being with peers only brings advantages for development and socialization, although ailments are inevitable.

However, five or six episodes a year are perfectly normal, it is necessary to investigate only if the diseases are more frequent or serious.

In the case of children who are particularly frail and prone to recurring infections

However, recovery times must be lengthened.

If the little one is at risk, for example because there is a familiarity with asthma, yes also to prevention – adds Mele -.

  • In September and in the first months of school, after consulting with the pediatrician, the immune system can be strengthened with immunomodulators or vitamins, such as vitamin D which has been shown to improve the response to infections ».
  • Returning to school healed is important in order not to get caught up in the vicious circle of ailments, but also to avoid spreading the disease to others.

Generally, once the symptoms have resolved, one is no longer contagious, but is it true that after a day without fever, one can go back to class?

In the case of children who are particularly frail and prone to recurring infections

«Fever is significant, but the absence of this symptom is not the only element to consider in assessing whether the child is cured and can no longer transmit the disease to his companions – replies Mele -.

It is necessary to take into account the general situation of the little one: if there is still discomfort, because for example the cough is a lot, if there is pain or a lot of cold, it is always better to wait a little longer ».

«However, when there is no fever, the probability of infecting others is practically zeroed – continues Di Mauro -.

But if for respiratory diseases the return times can vary in relation to the diagnosis and the condition of the child, for some diseases the rules are rather precise: in the case of chicken pox or measles, for example, you can go back to school after five days from the appearance of vesicles or skin spots; the days rise to seven for rubella and to nine after the onset of swelling of the salivary glands if mumps has been caught; scarlet fever requires a minimum convalescence of 48 hours from the beginning of the therapy to which are added another 48 hours of complete absence of fever

Case of streptococcal pharyngitis

The times are also clear for other widespread ailments among children: if you have caught lice, you can go back after the first treatment; in the case of conjunctivitis, 24 hours must pass from the start of treatment; if there is diarrhea, one returns only when it is completely gone.

Parents, however, should keep children at home when they have symptoms of discomfort: for example, if they have a fever, if there was vomiting or diarrhea the previous day, if suspicious spots appeared on the skin (it could be a rash disease is approaching) or if you have noticed that your eyes produce a purulent discharge (a sign of conjunctivitis, a problem that is transmitted very easily).

Sending a sickly child to school almost certainly means being called shortly by the teachers to go and pick him up, because in order to protect the class, a child with symptoms that make him suspect that he is contagious must be sent away.