When is it a good idea to keep your child home from school?
If your child becomes ill and doesn’t feel well enough to take part in school, as parents or guardians, you should keep your child home until the symptoms improve. This also can help to prevent the spread of the illness to others at school. These are some of the examples of when your child should be kept home:
- Active vomiting
- Active diarrhea – three or more times in six hours
- The beginning of an airway infection (cold/cough/runny nose) [This is especially important for those who are unable to manage their own body fluids]
- Extreme tiredness and/or lack of appetite
- Fever with headache, body aches, earache, sore throat
- Undiagnosed or unknown rash (a rash that has not been seen or treated by a health care provider)
- Any of the above symptoms with fever or chills
- Untreatedskin conditions such as impetigo, lice, scabies, or similar conditions
- If antibiotic treatment is needed, your child should remain home for the first full 24 hours of medication (e.g., if your child has three doses per day ordered, then three doses must be given before the child returns to school)
If any symptoms change, worsen or don’t get better please call your health care provider.
Your child can return to school when he or she is well enough to take part in school and has had no fever for 24 hours without medication (acetaminophen, Tylenol®, etc.).
When you have questions, please call your school nurse, school nurse practitioner, or health care provider for more information.
When should I send my child back to school?
Colds and flu can be contagious for at least 48 hours. Returning to school too soon may slow the recovery process and expose other children unnecessarily to illness. Please keep your child at home until:
- His/her fever has been gone for 24 hours without medication.
- He/she has not had vomiting or diarrhea during the last 24 hours.
- If given antibiotics, he/she has taken the antibiotics for at least 24 hours.
His/her appetite and energy level have returned to normal.
Keeping children home from school for reasons other than illness may have a bad effect on their attitude, work habits and progress in school. Please bear in mind that work missed in the classroom cannot be learned through written assignments. Use your good common sense and remember sick children belong at home and well children belong in school.