Staying Home With Your Child


  1. Contact your child’s school. Let them know your child is staying home and warn them if it looks like it may be something contagious. Teachers and classmates can pass along missed assignments, and the school nurse can help answer any questions.
  2. Arrange coverage at work. Take work home that you can do while your child is sleeping. Use phone and email to stay in touch with your office. Build a support system for exchanging favors with co-workers.

  3. Enjoy quiet activities. Take advantage of the extra hours together by reading with your child. Limit television viewing and other screen time that can interfere with getting adequate sleep and rest.
  4. Serve comfort foods and lots of liquids. Depending on the nature of your child’s illness, be prepared with foods that are easily digested like bananas and low fat yogurt. You can make the common cold feel less miserable with plenty of water, juice, and clear broths.

  5. Follow your doctor’s instructions. Call your pediatrician if you have any questions, or if your child has a cough or cold that lasts more than a few days or is accompanied by a fever. If you use children’s over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, follow the directions closely.

  6. Disinfect everything. Keep your family healthy by doing a thorough cleaning once your child recovers. Wash the sheets and wipe down surfaces including doorknobs, towels, keyboards, phones, and toys. Keep your hands clean and dispose of used tissues immediately.

Being prepared for sick days makes them less stressful for the whole family. With a bit of advance planning, you can spend some special time together and help your child get well soon.

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