Quarantining a sick child: A decision guide

Every time MissC gets sick I go through the same awkward decision process about whether I can leave the house or not. On the one hand, I want to be considerate to other people, on the other I'm not sure if she's contagious and I really need groceries. After going through this decision process for the hundredth time this week, I decided to just finally look it up.
So here is a guide to decision making about whether you can leave the house or not with a sick child.

Upper respiratory tract infections

Gastric symptoms

Rashes etc

This information is solely on whether you should leave the house or attend activities, it is not advice on your child's health and you should see a doctor when you feel you need to. You should always be particularly cautious around 'vulnerable' people such as infants, the elderly and the immunocompromised. Colds in particular are a symptom of a variety of nasty diseases including parvovirus which can cause miscarriage or RSV which puts many people in hospital every year. Keeping your child at home for 2 to 3 days after catching a cold gives you a good chance to determine whether it is a simple virus or something more serious and minimises the damage it can do.

Note: I have also assumed that the child in question is immunised and have not included diseases such as chickenpox or measles in the decision making process. If your child is not immunised and has any of these diseases you should stay at home until your medical professional advises that they are no longer contagious.



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