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Is your child sick enough to stay home from school?

Thursday - 1/26/2012, 6:00am  ET

child thermometer (Thinkstock)
Kids with temperatures over 100 should stay home. (Thinkstock)

Darci Marchese, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - When your child wakes up and says he is too sick to go to school, it can be a really tough call.

Parents Magazine is out with some guidelines.

The magazine published a questionnaire as a resource for parents who aren't sure whether to keep a child at home.

The first piece of advice is to check your child's temperature. If it's over 100 degrees, then keep him home, the magazine says. Not only does a temperature that high suggest your child may be contagious, but it's likely to render him unable to concentrate in class.

Another sign is vomiting. If your child throws up more than twice in a 24-hour period, keep him out of school. One incident may not be worthy of a sick day, but continued vomiting is a sign he should stay home.

When it comes to sore throats, taking temperatures can help your decision. A sore throat with no fever means the child is likely OK for a day of learning. However, if his glands are swollen and accompanied by a fever, make the call to keep him home.

Red eyes can be troublesome, too. If the eye is stuck shut or bright red, it could be pinkeye, which is highly contagious.

Ultimately, the decision is a matter of parental judgment. If you're unsure, consult your doctor.

Take the Parents Magazine quiz.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)