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Posted: December 06, 2017

When should you keep your coughing child home from school?

Local | WSBTV

Many children are coughing and suffering from the flu but it’s not the only virus showing up in local schools as we get closer to the holidays.  

Channel 2’s Linda Stouffer met baby Imogen, who was under the weather on Wednesday. Her mom brought her into the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Care Center on Buford Highway where the decorations remind us: Santa’s on his way. 

“Every time they’re sick, even if it keeps you from seeing friends and celebrating the holidays, it makes a difference,” said Imogen’s mother, Alice Asher.

Dr. Vivian Lennon said they're seeing more respiratory viruses; the flu, and RSV. 

It’s an important decision whether to send a sick child to school where they might get sicker and other students might get it.

“If your child has a fever, they cannot go to school,” Lennon said. “First of all, they are most likely to be contagious, second of all they don’t feel well, they are not going to be able to learn.”

Vomiting? Stay home, Lennon said.

Severe cough? Stay home, Lennon said.


But a lingering mild cough, with no fever for 24 hours, Lennon said power through.

“They may not have a fever and they just cough intermittently, those children really should be allowed to go to school,” Lennon said.

And since no one wants to be sick for the holidays, Lennon is urging people to wash hands and use sanitizer. 

“When you cough, you should cough into your elbow,” Lennon said.

Lennon said children with the actual flu may be really sick for seven days. 

But for most of what’s going around, a child may be feeling back to normal in about 10 days. 

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