YOU Magazine - March 2011 - She Doesn't Feel Warm!Should I Send My Child to Preschool Today?By Blythe Lipman, Author, Help! My Baby Came Without Instructions
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She Doesn't Feel Warm!
Should I Send My Child to Preschool Today?
By Blythe Lipman, Author, Help! My Baby Came Without Instructions

She Doesn't Feel Warm!Should I Send My Child to Preschool Today?By Blythe Lipman, Author, Help! My Baby Came Without Instructions

It's March, the sun is shining and you have the tiniest ray of hope that spring is just around the corner. But unfortunately, the cold and flu season is still in full swing. If your baby or toddler attends preschool, it probably seems like that runny nose goes round and round like a bad dream.

You are pulling your hair out in frustration as you call out from work again. And your little one is just so cranky. It can be every new parent's nightmare as you wonder, "Yikes...will this ever end?"

So what do you do when your little one starts sneezing? When is it okay to send your pride and joy to school? Here are ten tips that will help make that decision close to a no-brainer.

  1. If your child had a fever in the middle of the night and she wakes up cranky but with a normal temperature, don't give her a dose of Tylenol and send her to school. Do yourself a favor and keep her home. The odds are that four hours later you will get that dreaded phone call to pick her up.

  2. If your little one's teacher calls to say she's just not herself and you need to come get her, please listen. Bargaining for a few more hours because you have a meeting just isn't fair to your child or her teacher. An ill child should be home, not in school.

  3. If your child gets sick over the weekend and is still not herself on Monday morning, keep her home. It's not fair to infect the other children as well as the teachers.

  4. If you know you have an important meeting coming up that could make or break your job, make sure to have another caregiver lined up just in case. You don't want Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will") to be passed today!

  5. Most preschools will let a child return to school after they have been on antibiotics and have no fever for 24 hours. But check with the director. Every school is different. Getting your little one dressed, ready, and arriving at school just to be told she can't stay is a recipe for tears and stress you just don't need.

  6. If your child doesn't have a fever but her nose just won't stop running and all she can say is, "Mommy, hold me," keep her home. Sometimes a day in jammies with mommy and her blankie is all she needs to feel better.

  7. If Daddy is in charge of preschool duty, make it easy for him. Talk about what to do if your little one gets sick before you leave for that business trip. A call in the middle of a meeting can be a recipe for disaster.

  8. If Grandma and Grandpa are going to be watching your precious one while you are away, putting things in writing works the best. Get a small notebook and include, "What if's" along with important phone numbers, including the school's rules for sending sick children to preschool.

  9. If you get to preschool and it's obvious that your little one's teacher has a very bad cold, it's your call whether to leave her that day. While teachers try very hard not to come to school when they are ill, sometimes it's just not possible for them to stay home.

  10. If you are a working parent, always have Plan B ready to go. Don't wait until your little one gets sick to start looking for someone to care for her.

When you think that fever won't break and you are considering buying stock in Kleenex, smile and remember, "This too shall pass!"

Blythe Lipman is the president of Baby Instructions. She is passionate about babies, toddlers and their parents. After working in the field for over twenty-five years, she wrote her third award-winning book, Help! My Baby Came Without Instructions, which is available at You can hear Blythe's weekly radio show on Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. EST at Blythe is available for in-home, video and telephone consultations. © Blythe Lipman 2011.

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