When your children enter adolescence, it's true that some aspects of parenting change. However, that does not mean that everything changes. There are basic tenets of parenting that apply across the board, from babies to teens and every stage in between. One of those is keeping a kid home when he/she has a fever.
In my daughter's school, lots of students are showing up to class or practice sick. Friends around the country report the same in their children's classes. Kids are sharing how high their fever is almost as a badge of honor, sometimes through a selfie with the thermometer shared on social media. This is not okay.
Please, keep adolescents with a fever at home. If your kid has a fever, they should be home.
I promise that this is not an odd personal preference of mine. The Centers for Disease Control implores parents to not let feverish kids from mingling with the masses as a preventive action to stop the spread of germs.
"CDC recommends that your sick child stay home for at least 24 hours a er his or her fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever- reducing medicine."
Please note that the CDC doesn't say "except high schoolers" or "with the exception of middle schoolers." The recommendations applies to all kids, including tweens and teens. (If you're wondering, the CDC makes the same recommendation for adults.)
KidsHealth.org says the same, stating that parent should "never send a child to school who has a fever."
Without a doubt, it's not easy to have sick kids at home. It is never convenient, for you or for them. They have huge games, important performances, big tests. Missing those are not easy, no doubt. But the CDC doesn't include an asterisk and exempt kids with big events.
Some of the consequences of attending anyway when one has a fever could include: infecting classmates and teammates (some of whom may be medically compromised and unable to fight off germs), prolonging the illness or getting even sicker and thus missing more classes/events, and failing to perform well.
No one does their best work with a 102 degree fever. Really.
Making sure your sick kid with a fever stays home teaches your tweens and teens two things:
- Their health is a top priority and that taking care of themselves is important; and
- One way to respect others (peers, teachers, the general public) is to take measure to not share germs with them.
Knowing those two things will serve them well in adulthood.
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Filed under: Health, Body & Fitness