Even if your child rarely gets sick, odds are she’s going to come down with something once she starts preschool. The odds are about as good as you spilling something on your brand new white shirt five minutes after you walk out the door.

That is to say— A SURE THING.

When you take into account the number of kids in the class and the fact that they all have mouths and noses and grimy hands that wipe their noses and then touch all the same toys and tables and art supplies and snacks (plus there’s always that one kid who licks everything), you can see how transferring germs is unavoidable. Especially when nobody has mastered the art of coughing into their elbow quite yet.

It’s not really “if” your child will catch something from another student in the class, it’s a matter of “when”.

So what can you do? Short of sending your child off to school in a bubble, not much. Except make the right decisions about when to keep your own sick child out of class.

On that fateful day when your child wakes up with a sniffle and a cough, you like all the other parents in the class will think— “Is she sick enough to keep her home from school?”

You have three options:

1. Send her. Even though she’s got dried up snot caked up around her ears from continually wiping her nose with the back of her hand, she does not have a fever and is in good spirits. Sure, the other parents will give you dirty looks when you drop her off, but they would (and will) do the same in your position. Plus, you have things to do! Work to go to! You can’t stay home with a sick kid!

2. Keep her home. You can watch TV all day together while lying on the couch without feeling guilty about giving her too much screen time. You can try and fail to take her temperature because she won’t stay still long enough for you to get an accurate reading. You can force feed her chicken soup and swear up and down that the bubble gum medicine actually tastes like bubble gum, even though you’ve never tasted it so you really have no idea.

3. Take her to the doctor. But be forewarned. There is a non-existent window that is “the right time to take a kid to a doctor”. You either take them too soon or too late and both scenarios make you feel like you did something wrong.

Here are the only two outcomes of taking your sick kid to the doctor:



You see what I mean?

One company that is working to make parents savvier when their kids get sick is Kinsa, which has just developed the Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer. The thermometer gives you an accurate reading in one second, which is awesome for super squirmy kids who won’t still. It’s so easy to use, you can use it even on a baby while she is sleeping.

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I used it on Harlow a few weeks ago when she came down with a cold and was amazed at how quickly and easily it calculated her temperature. It was 100.3. Honestly, I think that was the first time I ever trusted my own thermometer. Which was great the next day when it gave her a 98.6 because I could trust that she was getting better too.

You can use the Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer on it’s own or in conjunction with the Kinsa app which wirelessly and automatically records your child’s temperature history. Plus, the app lets you record your child’s symptoms to share with your doctor or to compare with Kinsa’s in-app expert medical guidance.

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You can also record what medicine you gave your kid and at what dosage, which is especially useful if you have another caretaker watching your sick kid during the day. Multiple caregivers will be able to log into the same account and have all the info they need on their own device.

You can even keep tabs on the rest of your preschool class since the Kinsa Group feature will tell you what common illnesses are circulating nearby.

Kinsa recently launched a pre-sales campaign for their new Smart Ear Thermometer. For the next three days, the ear thermometer is as low as $40 for one thermometer, with options to buy value packs as gifts for even bigger savings. Retail price of the thermometer when it hits shelves will be $59.99.

Funds raised through the pre-sales campaign will go towards supporting FLUency, which gives free Kinsa thermometers to schools throughout the country.

So get a Kinsa thermometer and maybe, just maybe, your child can avoid catching something at school.