- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 9, 2003

Common cold

Symptoms: Runny nose, sore throat, cough, decreased appetite.

Transmission: Spread through the air and via contaminated hands and objects.

Infectious period: One day to seven days after onset of symptoms.

When infected child can return to school or day care: Child can attend school or day care unless too ill to take part in activities.

Fever

Symptoms: Temperature over 102 degrees. A child with a temperature of 103.5 degrees and higher will look and feel sick.

Transmission: Not infectious.

When infected child can return to school or day care: Keep child away from school or day care until he or she is feeling well enough to return.

Gastroenteritis

Symptoms: Poor appetite, vomiting, stomach cramps, watery or bloody diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear 24 to 72 hours after exposure.

Transmission: Spread through contact with stool or contaminated food, milk or water. Also spread by people with poor hygiene habits.

Infectious period: Contagious while symptoms are present.

When infected child can return to school or day care: When diarrhea and stool tests are negative.

Impetigo

Symptoms: Blisters, then honey-colored crusts on red base, often located around mouth, nose and diaper area. Symptoms take four to 10 days to appear.

Transmission: Spread through contact with sores. Infection can be spread to other parts of the body by the child's fingers.

Infectious period: Contagious until sores are dry.

When infected child can return to school or day care: When sores are dry.

Pertussis (whooping cough)

Symptoms: Coldlike symptoms with irritating cough. Coughing is prolonged and severe, and it may be characterized by a high-pitched whoop or crowing. Symptoms appear seven to 10 days after exposure.

Transmission: Spread through direct or airborne contact with saliva, phlegm or articles soiled by the child.

Infectious period: Contagious for up to three weeks after start of cough or up to five days after antibiotics are started.

When infected child can return to school or day care: After at least five days of antibiotic treatment, assuming the child feels well.

Strep throat

Symptoms: Fever, sore throat.

Transmission: Spread person to person.

Infectious period: Contagious until 24 hours after the start of treatment.

When infected child can return to school or day care: Child can return to school 24 hours after the start of treatment.

Source: "Sanity Savers: The Canadian Working Woman's Guide to Almost Having It All," by Ann Douglas, McGraw Hill, 1999.


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