I sent my child to school sick.
Yes, I admit it, I'm the mom who didn't keep her kid home until she was totally better and then got the call ordering me to come fetch her immediately because her temperature was a scalding 104?F. Mortified, I rushed Avery to the pediatrician, who lectured me about always waiting 24 fever-free hours to reintroduce her to the outside world.
GIVE UP THE GUILT Let's face it, most little kids are sick a lot. And it's hard to know if they're getting ill or getting over something. "If you keep your child out of school every time she has the sniffles, she'll never leave the house. Just do the best you can," says Tanya Remer Altmann, M.D., author of Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents' Top 101 Questions About Babies and Toddlers.
MAKE IT BETTER If your child has had a fever, vomiting, or something that's obviously contagious such as strep throat, she should stay home. Once she's been on antibiotics for 24 hours, it's probably okay for her to return to school as long as she seems up to it. Even if some of the symptoms are still lingering she's unlikely to be contagious, according to Dr. Altmann.