If they were afebrile, not coughing up something ugly, and not coughing to the point of emesis I gave them some water and the coughing into elbow and hand washing lecture and sent them back to class. This usually didn't sit well with the sending teachers, who commonly felt that the child should go home, take some cough syrup so they will "get better", or go to the doctor for "some antibiotics." I repeatedly reinforced that antibiotics do not help colds or other viruses, cough syrup and other cold products do not cure colds..and likely don't help a cough any better than water, and that students cannot stay home for as long as they are coughing as it could last for a few weeks. I reinforce that everyone should wash/sanitize their hands frequently and keep their hands away from their mouth/nose/eyes. Every year the same teachers send students to the office with a note of "John needs to go home, he is coughing," or "John is coughing, he needs a cough drop"--we did not stock any over the counter meds, and John would need a note from his physician for any cough drops he might bring in, and would have to stay in the office while it dissolved. Never utilized a face mask.