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Offered by Brighton Pediatrics

Fever is one of the most common reasons children are sent home from school. A fever, no matter how high, is almost never dangerous. It is a signal for underlying infection or inflammation. The overwhelming majority of fevers in school age children are caused by viral infections. Most of these are one of the thousands of viruses that cause the common cold, sore throats and viral pneumonia. The lag time between exposure and illness for these infections is usually several days, and children can shed virus for as long as 2 weeks. Excluding kids from school is not a practical method for preventing spread of these viral infections.

If your child has been sent home from school with a fever, they should be evaluated by a medical provider and if it is a virus, they should return to school with instructions to wash their hands frequently. If your child has a minor bacterial infection such as strep throat or bacterial pneumonia, they should wait to return to school until they have been on the antibiotics for more than 24 hours.

Please see for more information about treating fever and viral illnesses.

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Brighton Pediatrics