Common Illnesses in Children and When to Keep Them Home

When to Keep Your Child Home

When should your child stay home

Many parents have a hard time deciding if their kids are well enough to go to school. But making the right decision isn't as tough as you might think.

It boils down to a few simple things:

A fever is considered 100 degrees or over. A person is considered contagious to others when a fever is present.

The use of a fever-reducing medication does not remove a person's contagiousness.

Keep your child home if he/she may be contagious to others.

  • Can your child still participate in school activities? After all, having a sore throat, cough, or mild congestion does not necessarily mean a child can't be active and participate in school activities.
  • Can your child's illness be contagious to others? The following symptoms could make others sick if your child comes to school....
  • A rash (if you're not sure of the cause of the rash, it's best to check with your child's doctor before sending him/her to school) - ask the doctor to write a note stating the rash is non-contagious before your child returns to school.
  • A temperature of 100 degrees or over. A child is safe to return when he/she is fever-free for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medication (i.e. Tylenol or Ibuprofen)
  • Symptoms of pink eye: reddened eye, itchiness, green/yellow thick matter (check with your child's doctor) A child is safe to return when eyes are clear and has been on antibiotic for 24 hours and the eyes are clear. Pink eye is very contagious to others.
  • Vomiting - a child is safe to return when vomit-free x 24 hours.
  • Diarrhea - a child is safe to return when diarrhea-free x 24 hours.

Head Lice or Nits (our school has a no-nit procedure, meaning a child cannot attend school with nits (eggs) or lice - see head lice page for more details. Contact the school nurse to report head lice.