The Old 24-Hour-Rule? Not for Swine Flu!

November 4th, 2009

Every parent knows the rule. Fever-free without medication for 24 hours. That’s the period of time during which a parent is supposed to wait before sending Junior back to regularly scheduled activities after a bout with a fever. And the Centers for Disease Control reaffirmed that recommendation less than two weeks ago.

That’s the rule we followed. After running a temperature over the weekend,  Boo seemed fine by Tuesday. Heck, he had spent most of Monday fighting over Legos with his Big Brother, chasing him up and down the stairs…full of energy and spunk.

But then today, Wednesday,  – when of course, I was traveling back from a conference in Virginia –  – I got the call: a fever of 103.5 degrees.

DH was home fighting the flu too. And the traffic lights in all of Montgomery County were malfunctioning, putting the entire County in traffic gridlock – the worst I’ve seen in a decade here in the DC area.  Needless to say, it was quite an adventure making it up the clogged arteries to the pediatrician’s office.

By the time I made it to the pharmacy at 8:30 p.m., I picked up an email from my son’s child care center, asking parents to make sure their children were fever-free for 48 hours before returning to school.  Apparently my son was not the only child to have a sudden reoccurrence of high fever, more than a day after going fever-free for 24 hours without meds.  But actually, we would have needed a 72-hour rule in his case.

So that old 24-hour rule?  It doesn’t apply with swine flu. I didn’t know that. But now you do. Stay well.

— Lynn