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Stress-free Sick Days

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As flu rages across North America this winter, your family may be affected by students who are not able to attend school. If your student starts showing signs of illness, it’s imperative that you keep them home from school so that they don’t infect other students too. This can be easier said than done. With busy, working parents, for some families, sick days can mean a stressful reshuffling. Here’s how to cope:

Plan ahead
At some point, every student gets ill and has to take a sick day. Having a plan in advance can make the transition seamless and less stressful for the whole family. Ask your support network of neighbors friends, family members and other parents who could possibly help out when your kids are ill. Make a list of potential helpers that you can contact in a pinch. This way you will have a whole list of people you can rely on.
Discuss telecommuting options with your company. Losing a vacation day to stay home with a sick student really cuts into your holidays, but most companies will make allowances for telecommuting where necessary.
Many clinics and hospitals have child-care facilities located on the premises where sick students can spend the day receiving expert care.
Knowing your options and having a contingency plan in advance will minimize sick-day panic.

Know the rules
Part of your contingency planning for sick days should include knowledge of the rules surrounding your student’s sick days. Know who to contact when your student is too sick to go to school and have contact details written down. You should also have some contact details of the teachers or students who can gather work for your student so that they don’t fall behind when they are ill.
Knowing your student’s school regulations will also mean you are able to get a doctor’s note when they miss more than a few days or when they miss exams and tests due to illness.
Your prime concern should be for the speedy recovery of your student. This means that, although they should make an effort to keep up with their schoolwork, they should also have sufficient time to rest. Ensure that their temperatures have been normal for at least 24 hours and that they are completely healed before sending them back to school.

Prevent the spread of illnesses
Give your students (especially younger members of your household) a quick recap on how to prevent the spread of illnesses. Remind them to put their hands in front of their mouths when sneezing and coughing. Discourage the sharing of utensils or food and drink. Make sure that your sick student has their own towel and get everyone in the family to wash their hands more often than they normally would. This will prevent other members of your household from falling ill too.

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