When Your Child is Sick


Guidelines for Keeping Sick Children Home

Each day many parents are faced with a decision: should they keep their sick child at home or send them off to school? Often the way a child looks and acts can make the decision an obvious one. Please consider these guidelines:

  • Colds: Please keep your child at home if he/she has a fever over 100 degrees or is experiencing discomfort that would interfere with his/her ability to perform in school. (i.e. uncontrollable coughing, severe lack of energy). If your child experiences green nasal discharge that continues throughout the day, or a cough lasting longer than ten days, or is accompanied by fever or chills and is productive of discolored sputum, consult with your physician.

  • Conjunctivitis (pink-eye): Following a diagnosis of bacterial conjunctivitis, the child may return to school after the first dose of prescribed medication. Students with viral infection may return when eyes are clear.

  • Diarrhea/Vomiting: A child with diarrhea and /or vomiting should stay at home and return to school only after being symptom-free for 24 hours.

  • Fever: The child should remain at home with a fever greater than 100°. The child can return to school after he/she has been fever free for 24 hours (without fever-reducing medicine such as Tylenol or Motrin).

  • Impetigo: The child with impetigo may return to school 24 hours after treatment has begun. A doctor’s note or proof of prescription is recommended.

  • Rashes: Common infectious diseases with rashes are most contagious in the early stages. A child with a suspicious rash should return to school only after a health care provider has made a diagnosis and authorized the child’s return to school.

  • Strep Throat: A child with strep throat may return to school 24 hours after antibiotic treatment has begun.

A sick child cannot learn effectively and is unable to participate in classes in a meaningful way. Keeping a sick child home prevents the spread of illness in the school community and allows the child an opportunity to rest and recover.


Last Updated: 2/2/15


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