From the School Nurse
Is your child too sick for school? Is it a fever? Here's a guide on how to figure it out!
Is it a fever?
If you think your child has a fever, take his temperature. Oftentimes as parents, we touch our child’s head and assume he has a fever if he feels warm, but this is not the best way to measure a temperature at home.
The best way is to use a digital thermometer. There are several types on the market, including:
- Oral – the easiest for older children, and can also be used under the arm, although this doesn’t always offer the most accurate reading.
- Tympanic (ear)
- Rectal – the best way to take a temperature in infants
- Temporal artery (forehead)
Make sure to read the instructions for all thermometer use carefully.
Whatever method you choose; a fever is defined as a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees F (38 C) rectally. Temperatures taken orally typically run about ½ to 1 degree lower.
- 99.5 degrees F (37.5 degrees C) in the mouth
- 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C) rectally
- 99 degrees F (37.2 degrees C) under the arm
Also, be aware that a high fever may not be a good indicator of how sick your child is. A simple cold or viral infection can cause a high fever of 102-104 degrees F (38.9-40 degrees C), but isn’t usually a cause for worry.
Call your pediatrician right away if your child has a fever and any of these symptoms:
- Has a specific complaint such as a sore throat or earache
- Has lasting diarrhea or repeated vomiting
- Refuses fluids
- Has signs of dehydration (peeing less than usual or not having tears when crying)
- Still has a fever after 24 hours (in kids under 2) or 72 hours (kids over 2)
Seek emergency care if your child has a fever and shows any of these signs:
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck or complains of light hurting their eyes
- Rash or purple spots that look like bruises on the skin
- Problems breathing
- Belly pain
- Sluggishness or trouble waking up
Heather Espy, LPN
Concerned about viruses? Please take a moment to read the latest from the CDC.
Medication Administration at School
Please be advised that medication is not allowed to be transported on the school bus. A parent/guardian is required to bring in any medication needed at school, including prescription and over the counter medications. Cough drops are considered medication. A consent form is required to be completed with the nurse for all medications. Feel free to contact Nurse Espy at the phone number or email address listed below.
**Any prescription medication, including inhalers, must have the appropriate pharmacy label with doctor’s orders. Any prescription medication that does not have a prescription label with doctor’s orders will not be administered at school.