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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 Triad schools have 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.