Knowing when to keep your kids at home and out of school if they fall ill

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ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) – Students have come back to the classroom, and with the come welcomed illnesses. 

Dr. Hector Garcia is a pediatrician. He said some illnesses may manifest in similar ways.


“Kids can have very non-specific symptoms for a lot of illnesses, so a lot of time different things can look the same, so the flu can look like strep or can look like a stomach bug,” Garcia said.

An illness like strep throat can be spread by a few bad habits, according to registered nurse, Christi Green.


“Strep is usually passed through contact, so if they’re sharing water, if they’re sharing glasses, if they’re eating off the same utensil at lunch, things like that,” said Green. “And kids do that.”

Even if someone else at home has passed the illness to the student, the symptoms may not show up immediately.


“They come to school and they’re here for two or three days, and then all of a sudden they have strep,” Green said. “Well, they’ve already passed it other people. So, sometimes it’s just not preventable.”

And, for illnesses such as the flu, sometimes kids simply cannot describe how they feel.


“..the younger ones may not be able to tell us that they have general malaise and that they just kind of have that achy pain and instead they may not be playing as they used to,” Garcia said.

And, ultimately, if the child could be contagious, the best place to be is home.


“If you’re kid has been throwing up in the past twenty-four hours or has had a fever within the past twenty-four hours…” Garcia said. “It’s a careful balance, because we don’t want kids to miss school, but we also don’t want other kids to be exposed to things.”

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