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Specializes in School Nurse. Having conversations with littles.. Has 35 years experience.

Straight No Chaser, ASN, LPN

Specializes in Sub-Acute. Has 5 years experience.

Dear Parents,

As you know, the cold and flu season is upon us. This is just a friendly reminder that if a child has a fever, they are contagious and should be kept home from school that day. This allows them to recover faster while also protecting classmates.

The guidelines state that a child should be free of fever for 24 hours WITHOUT fever reducing medications prior to returning to school.

Amethya

Specializes in Cardiology, School Nursing, General. Has 5 years experience.

I've been getting some students recently like this... and I had to call their parents to pick them up and explained to them, if they still have this fever tomorrow, do not give them just tylenol or advil and send them here, keep them home. They must be fever free for 24 hours.

tining, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nurse. Has 27 years experience.

[COLOR=#000000] [/COLOR][COLOR=#000000]Please do not send student to school if had fever the night before or that morning.

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[COLOR=#000000] [/COLOR][COLOR=#000000]Students sent to school after given fever reducers are still contagious to the other students and staff; the medication is only bringing down their temperature – It does not stop the illness[/COLOR]

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tining, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nurse. Has 27 years experience.

OMG - copy pasted from my newsletter and all of THAT showed up - geeez. And now I can't edit.

MrNurse(x2), ADN

Specializes in IMC, school nursing. Has 28 years experience.

OMG - copy pasted from my newsletter and all of THAT showed up - geeez. And now I can't edit.

It's OK, I can picture it in my mind.:sarcastic: And it looks mahvelous!

MHDNURSE, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Pediatrics, Community, and School Health. Has 21 years experience.

Worse than the perfect attendance award is giving the school their county/state/federal money based on how their attendance looks for the day/week/month/six weeks/semester.

The child is sick. Fever, vomiting, the whole 9 yards. No, my office is not a holding area until the attendance bell rings 3 hours into the school day. We have health policies for a reason, too. :nurse:

My friend's husband is a teacher is a school district where the TEACHERS are given a $1500 bonus at the end of June if they have 100% perfect attendance (excluding planned PTO). Her husband worked with the FLU just so he could get the $$. I couldn't believe it.

MHDNURSE, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Pediatrics, Community, and School Health. Has 21 years experience.

I had a high school student come in after vomiting twice at home and once at school. Wanna know why she came in? So she could take her CPR certification class at CNA school. Yep. I'm not even kidding. "We all got sick from the nursing home where we do clinicals. One girl even left in the middle of CPR so she could go throw up and then she came back." Awesome. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

My first kid of the day this morning comes in crying, c/o stomach ache. Then says "I threw up in my bed four times last night". I called mom right away and when she answered she just says "Are you calling me to come get her"? Didn't even say Hello first. :no:

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

I'm not saying to do nothing but we all know a reminder isn't going to have any affect on the target recipients of the message. The single biggest thing a school district could do to decrease illness and increase attendance is to eliminate perfect attendance awards. But that "ain't" happening. I launched an effort to do that one time...we still have perfect attendance awards.

I am so glad my son is now old enough to stay home alone with a mild illness. We forget that many parents have no one to watch younger children and face the very real fear of losing their jobs if they miss too much work. This is not an excuse for sending sick children to school but I am one of those parents who had no one to watch my child if he was sick.

California just passed a law two years ago that protects and parent employment when they are home with a sick child - that time can not be taken from vacation either. I didn't know such a thing existed until I was doing a nursing management seminar and it came up in an HR lecture.

Hppy

abc123RN

Has 21 years experience.

After a week of 12% absent rate, it seems I have repeated the policy over and over! Admin posted to school's social media accounts and sent an all call to parents with policy with poor compliance. Parents just don't want to keep them home. Our school is doing an attendance incentive. those with no missed days, early dismissals or late arrivals are in the running for some pretty cool prizes each grading period. I get it, they need to be in school but wow does it make it rough on the nurse! We have some very young parents that are all about the free stuff and will do anything to make sure their kid wins something. I have been yelled at over the phone and in person by parents so many times this week because I will follow the policy and try to send them home if they are puking or feverish. We have been hit hard with flu and strep this week. Around 8% confirmed dx of flu and strep.

Maybe giving children tylenol and sending them to school is a result of the parent having precarious employment and a lack of family support. If so, how does sending memos and judging the parents solve the problem?

Straight No Chaser, ASN, LPN

Specializes in Sub-Acute. Has 5 years experience.

Maybe giving children tylenol and sending them to school is a result of the parent having precarious employment and a lack of family support. If so, how does sending memos and judging the parents solve the problem?

I don't think it's judging, but educating. The issue is the kids are still contagious if the fever is merely masked by Tylenol and maybe the parents don't realize that.

My parents couldn't afford to take a day off if I was sick, but they usually had somewhere for me to go, whether it be with a relative or a friend.

Cattz, ADN

Specializes in School Nurse. Having conversations with littles.. Has 35 years experience.

Maybe giving children tylenol and sending them to school is a result of the parent having precarious employment and a lack of family support. If so, how does sending memos and judging the parents solve the problem?

I am guessing you aren't a School Nurse? perhaps? Judging parents...that is ridiculous.

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

Maybe giving children tylenol and sending them to school is a result of the parent having precarious employment and a lack of family support. If so, how does sending memos and judging the parents solve the problem?

When it comes to sending kids home and enforcing policy, trust me, I am very cognizant and sympathetic to the working family. It's not a decision that I take lightly. But here's the scenario that I get more often than I think is fair to anyone: Child Sent home on Monday with a fever of 102.9 and miserable. Parent sends child in on Tuesday( perhaps loaded with Tylenol?) but when I call to say that child needs to be picked up, parent tells me that child was "fine" the rest of the day and no fever this morning. Parent takes a long time to pick up, I recheck temp and my theory about AM Tylenol plays out as true because as I get a call that parent has finally arrived, child's temp has returned and child is again miserable. I point this out to parent when they come and they usually play dumb, sometimes fess up but I often get a sob story about how they can't miss work.

The next part is the domino effect of the rest of the class slowly catching that same fever. Great...

So my question to you is what does solve the problem? Is it fair to anyone to send the child in sick? School are not glorified baby sitting services for children and school nurses are not baby sitters for sick children. Sick children should be home to recover. I'm not talking a sniffle or a cold. Kids can tough through that and should learn how to push through the little annoyances of life - but to mask a miserable child's fever and hope for the best with no back up plan -it's just not fair to anyone. Most of all the child.