EUGENE, Ore. – When your kids are sick, how do you determine whether or not to send them to school?
The question prompted a lot of discussion on the KVAL News Facebook page.
Fir Grove Elementary in Roseburg recently shut down after half the school came down with a mystery illness. 5 people at the school were later confirmed to have Norovirus.
Pediatrican Bruce Strimling with Oregon Medical Group said they’re seeing Norovirus in Eugene right now and it spreads rapidly.
“In fact, that’s how you know it’s Norovirus, is because all 3 kids in the family are there and Mom is green over in the corner, not looking so good either. And if she’s not green, she’s going to be green tomorrow,” Strimling said.
Tim Aarnes said, “I think if they’re throwing up you shouldn’t send them to school. I think that’s a good sign that they’re probably pretty sick.”
He said it’s hard for him to tell when his older daughter is really sick, or just faking it. “That’s one of those things where you just have to hope you can believe them.”
Is there a golden rule when it comes to keeping your kids home from school when they’re sick?
Doctor Strimling says no. His rule is that, “if the child is too sick to benefit from being in school, or going to be a burden, keep them home.”
A few other indicators that your child is too sick to be in class? A severe fever of over 100.5 degrees, vomiting, or diarrhea, says Strimling.
“If they have diarrhea then it’s a question of how hygienic they are. How effectively they are at washing their hands after they use the bathroom.” He says some kids forget to wash their hands thoroughly. “A little bit of water on your hands is not going to get rid of Norovirus.”
Carl Nicholsen’s grandson, Wil, had a bit of a cold. “He has a crusty nose,” Nicholsen said.
But that didn’t stop him from eating a pancake breakfast and going to the park.
Nicholsen said he relies on his father’s age old advice about staying home from school. “He’d say, no you can’t stay home. You can be sick at home, or sick at school.”