Doctor’s Note – Does My Kid Need To Stay Home From School?

by Dr. Lyndsey Garbi | December 8, 2020
Covid-19 Doctors Note Featured

Do you wake up every morning lately hoping your kids can go to school so you can maintain some normalcy during these crazy times?! 

The Crucial Factors a Pediatrician Has to Consider 

Pediatricians get multiple requests daily to clear kids to go back to school with a doctor’s note because they have been sent home due to showing signs of illness. These signs can be a runny nose, congestion, rash, fever, or just seeming unlike their usual selves. This puts pediatricians in a crucial position to determine the best course of action to keep not only that one patient who needs the doctor’s note to go back to school healthy and safe, but the whole class and their families as well. The mistake of sending a child with coronavirus into a class, where even the best social distancing precautions are being followed, is a risk. 

What Parents, Caretakers, Educators, and Doctors All Know Well

It’s a very confusing time when it comes to sending children to school and dealing with coronavirus. We are all doing our best to keep our families safe, but unless we are bunkered down at home with no outside exposure, the risk of contracting the virus exists for all of us. Keeping children in school, engaged, and learning in a healthy environment is also a big factor to consider because their mental health is equally as important. Children at all ages need stimulation from teachers, classrooms, or even home learning with structure and notable progress. Kids learn life skills from interaction with others and real life experiences so keeping them in school should be a priority for everybody, but not without taking all precautions to ensure physical health to the best of our abilities. 

So Now What?! There Are so Many Things to Consider:

  •  Information published by the CDC
  • The body of literature dictating all the knowledge we have so far about coronavirus
  • Availability and access to coronavirus tests
  • Local infectivity rates
  • Differing school requirements for allowing children back after symptoms of an illness

Children with coronavirus can have very mild symptoms, such as a simple clear runny nose, and still be able to spread the virus just as easily as someone with serious symptoms. Each parent should learn when their doctor will be able to provide the doctor’s note and what the school requires to allow your child back through their doors.

Different Pediatricians Have Different Policies on Doctor’s Notes:

  1. Many pediatricians will require a negative coronavirus test to allow a child with a runny nose to go back into class.
  2. Other pediatricians may want symptoms to go away completely before returning to class even if the child is negative on the coronavirus test.
  3. Some pediatricians may only test with 2 or more symptoms and some may test only if the child has fever.

We hope all the barriers, mask wearing, and distancing are working to ensure kids can’t spread the virus, but doctors bear the responsibility to make sure your child stays healthy and we take writing a doctors note very very seriously.