Children fall ill many times a year and this happens because their bodies are learning to cope with certain organisms. However, most of the times, parents aren't sure when to let the child go to school and when to keep him/ her indoors to prevent the condition from getting worse.

Now, an expert from Mayo Clinic says that there are certain signs of illnesses that can show when the child is having a regular cold and when the child is coming down with something serious.

"Young children's immune systems haven't learned to recognize and resist most common viruses. That's why, until they're 8 or so, kids seem to bring home everything that's making the rounds at school. Children can typically have six to 10 colds per year," said Robert Key, M.D., family physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Prairie du Chien.

"In general, children should stay home when they don't feel well enough to participate in normal daily activities and lack sufficient alertness to learn or play," Dr. Key said, according to Mayo Clinic.

Keep your child at home if:

  • He or she has periods of vomiting and is not able to tolerate any food or drink.
  • Has severe coughing or has difficulty in breathing.
  • Suffers from diarrhea.
  • Has a temperature of around 101 or higher.
  • Has head lice
  • Has skin rashes
  • Open sores in mouth.
  • Abdominal pain that lasts more than 2 hours.
  • Contagious disease like strep throat, chicken pox etc.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, severe ear pain, large amounts of nasal discharge, severe headache along with fever are signs that the child needs more rest at home.

Prevention is the key in keeping your child away from cold and flu. You can do this by ensuring that the child is washing his/her hands thoroughly. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing hands with soap and water for about 20 seconds or as long as it takes one to sing "Happy Birthday" song twice, must be enough to get rid of most of the disease causing microbes.

Medline Plus has more information about signs of flu.