When to Keep Your Child Home?

  • When to Keep Your Child Home?

    Guidelines for Keeping Sick Children Home from School
    On some days many parents are faced with a decision: should they keep their possibly 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. The following guidelines should be considered when making the decision:

    • 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).
    • 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.
    • Strep throat. Following a diagnosis of strep throat the child may not return to school until he/she has been on antibiotics for 24 hours and is fever free.
    • Pertussis (whooping cough). Following a diagnosis of pertussis, the child may not return to school for 5 days after antibiotic therapy has been initiated.
    • Conjunctivitis. Following a diagnosis of conjunctivitis, the child may not return to school until he/she has been on antibiotic therapy for 24 hours.
    • 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.
    • Colds. Consider keeping your child at home if he/she is experiencing discomfort from cold symptoms, such as nasal congestion and cough. A continuous green discharge from the nose may be a sign of infection. Consider having the child seen by your health care provider.

    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 opportunity to rest and recover. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call your school nurse.