When To Keep Your Child Home
Deciding when a child is too sick to go to school can be difficult. For your child to be available for learning and to control communicable diseases in school, it is important to keep your child home for the following reasons:
- Fever 100.0 degrees and above – Your child should be fever free without fever-reducing medication for 24 hours before returning to school. Students returning to school before they are well are more susceptible to illness and may expose others. Please do not give your child medication to treat fever and send them to school.
- Sore throat or tonsillitis – A minor sore throat is usually not a problem, but a new onset or severe sore throat could be a symptom of a more serious illness. Keep your child home from school and contact your health care provider. If your child is diagnosed with strep throat, he or
she may return to school 24 hours after antibiotic treatment begins, and the student is fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
- Spots/Rash – Do not send your child to school with a rash until your health care provider has said it is safe. Children with ringworm, scabies, or impetigo can return to school after 24 hours of appropriate treatment. The affected area should be covered if possible.
- Bad Cough/Cold Symptoms – Children with bad coughs/colds need to stay home and possibly see their health care provider.
- Eye Inflammation or Discharge – If your child’s eye is red with a cloudy or yellow/green drainage; matted eyelids after sleep; eye pain and/or redness, you should keep your child home and contact your child’s health care provider. Your child will be sent home if pink eye is suspected at school.
- Vomiting and/or Diarrhea – Your child should stay home until the illness is over and for at least 24 hours after the last episode (without medication).
- Ear Pain – Consult with your healthcare provider. Untreated ear infections can cause problems with hearing loss.
- Head Lice – Students with head lice should be treated at home before returning to school. The parent/guardian must make a concerted effort to remove the oval, whitish nits (eggs), and live bugs from the student’s hair. The school nurse MUST check the student before returning to the classroom.
- Acute Pain – Students with pain requiring narcotic medication for relief should not attend school.
- Chicken Pox- Children with uncomplicated chicken pox may return on the sixth day after the onset of the rash or when the spots are all dried and crusted, whichever is longer.
- Fifth disease- By the time the rash appears, children are no longer contagious and do not need to stay home.
- Mumps- Students with mumps should stay home from school for five days after the symptoms begin.
- Poison Ivy- Poison ivy is not contagious, so students do not need to stay home. Open lesions should be covered when students come to school.
- Ringworm- Students may come to school as long as the area is being treated and remains covered when at school. The nurse may require proof of treatment to be brought to school.
- Strep Throat- Students may return to school 24 hours after treatment has started, and the student is fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
Remember to call the school every day that your child will be absent. Make sure the school has your current contact information in case your child becomes ill or injured at school. Have a plan for childcare issues when your child is ill. If your child has a communicable disease, please notify the school. In some instances, it will be necessary for your physician to provide the school with a medical release before your child may return to school. Medications should be given at home if at all possible. If a medication is required during school hours, the procedures for medication administration must be followed. When in doubt, please err on the side of caution and keep your student home. Please get in touch with the school nurse or your child’s healthcare provider with any questions or for further instruction.