It’s time to get ready for school, but your child is dragging her feet. She says she’s sick. He also, coincidentally, has a big test today. Is she really sick, or is she just faking it? Let us help you look for signs that your child might just be pretending to be ill.

When your child says they have a sore throat

ENT doctor Kenneth Compton, MD

Most sore throats aren’t significant enough that your child would need to stay home. However, a bacterial infection like strep throat does warrant time out of school. Although some people say you can identify strep throat by looking for a bright red throat, white spots, or swollen tonsils, you will still need to take them for a strep test for confirmation, CEENTA ENT doctor Kenneth Compton, MD, said. A fever is also a sign of strep throat. Also, if your child claims they have a sore throat but can’t stop shouting or talking loudly, she doesn’t have a sore throat.

When your child is coughing

Coughs are easy to fake, since anyone can cough on command. When you’re sick, though, you’re clearing mucus from your airways, so it has a significant sound. Also, when you’re sick your coughs are more reflexive. So, if your child is faking a cough, there’s a good chance they’ll forget to keep doing it.

When your child says they have a headache

A headache can be a frustratingly nebulous complaint. If your child is still playing and happy, she is healthy enough to go to school. But if she is crying, doesn’t want to play, or has other symptoms, a doctor’s visit could be necessary. For example, if her eyes are also blurry or hurting, she could have a migraine.

One final thing

If your child is regularly faking an illness to get out of school, there could be a more pressing concern than just not wanting to take a test. He or she might be trying to avoid a stressful or unpleasant situation, like bullying. If they regularly claim they’re ill, but they have no symptoms, sit down and talk with them about what might be wrong.

Dr. Compton practices in our SouthPark and Pineville offices. To make an appointment with him or any of CEENTA’s ENT doctors, call 704-295-3000. You can also request an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.

Is your child snoring? Learn why it can cause health problems in this blog.

Learn which foods are good for fighting off illness in this blog.

Learn how throat lozenges work in this blog.





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