Returning to School After a Tonsillectomy

Parents have a big job after their child comes home from a tonsillectomy procedure. Between keeping a medication schedule and encouraging kids to eat with a sore throat, recovery can be tough on children. Many parents wonder when it’s ok for kids to return to school following their procedure. This can be a difficult decision because some kids may feel pain for up to two weeks, and that is a long time to be out of school. The pediatric otolaryngologists offer their expert advice to parents considering this decision. 

As a general rule of thumb, children can return to daycare or school seven days after their procedure, at the earliest. However, parents should consider the following:

•    Can the child eat and drink comfortably on his or her own?

•    Does the child still need pain medication?

•    Is the child getting enough sleep at night?

Of course, going back to school is the parent’s choice, but if the child refuses to eat lunch or take pain medication during the school day, it may be in the best interest of the parent and the child to keep the child home a few extra days.

However, going back to school does not mean the child will be cleared to perform rigorous activities. The otolaryngologists at AOC Physicians advise parents and educators to prevent children from participating in after-school sports or gym class. Every child is different, but some children may need to avoid physical activity for at least two weeks.

It is normal for kids to experience vomiting and fevers right after surgery, but if either occurs while the child is at school a week later, please call AOC Physicians right away. Parents should also call us if any other complications arise, like excessive bleeding or if the child is unable to stay hydrated. Snoring, slight weight loss, and scabbing are all normal aspects of the healing process that some children may experience. These symptoms are not cause for alarm, but should any questions arise, we are happy to answer them.

Arizona Otolaryngology Consultants (AOC) is a comprehensive ENT clinic that provides care for all diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. The physicians at AOC have the highest level of training and expertise in ENT care and ENT subspecialty care, which includes the management of pediatric airway, cancer, skull base surgery, advanced head and neck surgical and reconstructive procedures, craniofacial surgery and more. Call 602-264-4834 to request an appointment today!

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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