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Your Healthy Family: What symptoms should keep your child home from school

Posted at 7:49 AM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 12:34:51-04

As the Omicron variant is causing a surge in COVID-19 cases, local school districts have upped protocols to keep your kids safe. A doctor is breaking down what symptoms should keep your child from going to school.

"The recommendations are, any kid who’s having a new onset of fever, runny nose, cough, congestion, muscle aches, loss of taste or smell, that they get evaluated by their health care provider,” Dr. Adam Keating, a Pediatrician from Cleveland Clinic Children's, said.

Dr. Keating said he understands how frustrating these guidelines can be for families. He said if your child has these symptoms, and you want to rule out COVID-19 instead of waiting for your child to feel better, ask your medical provider to order a PCR COVID-19 test. He said they're more accurate than at-home test kits.

"If they have a little bit of a runny nose and a PCR-based COVID test came back negative, then I think we can say that it was negative and this isn’t COVID. If they’re feeling well enough, then those kids can go back to school. I would recommend they wear a mask so they don’t spread the cold around the school," Dr. Keating said.

He said most kids with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but there are rare cases that can become severe. If your child is having trouble breathing or shortness of breath, take them to the doctor immediately.