Sick Child Guidelines

Last Updated: 12/5/2018 3:47 PM

Keep a sick child at home if you see the following:

Fever: This is one symptom that automatically rules out school, no questions. A fever from 100-101 degrees or higher is the usual guideline used by most schools. Your sick child should be fever free without medication for at least 24 hours before you send him or her back to school.

Diarrhea: This could be a sign of a viral infection, so it's best to keep your child at home. It's also important to keep rehydrating them with an oral rehydrating solution when having diarrhea, and the best way to do that is by keeping them at home.

Vomiting: Aside from the fact that your child won't be comfortable, he could vomit again (in our house, one bout of vomiting is usually followed by another). Keep them home until they have gone 24 hours without throwing up.

Cough: This depends on how severe the cough is. Coughs can spread infection to other students. A serious cough can also keep a child from getting a good night's rest, which means they'll be too tired for school in the morning. As a general rule, if your child has a serious cough, particularly if it's accompanied by breathing troubles, call your doctor and keep them home. But if it's just a mild cough and they have no other symptoms, they can probably come to school.

Rashes: Skin rashes could be a sign of contagious infection, such as impetigo. You should have a rash evaluated by a doctor before sending your child to school.

Pinkeye (conjunctivitis): This infection can quickly and easily spread from one child to another, as many parents of grade-school age children already know all too well. Keep your child home until the doctor says they are no longer contagious.

Send your child to school if you see the following:

Stomachache: This one can be a tough call. If they don't have diarrhea and aren't constipated, tummy trouble could be caused by any number of things from anxiety to food poisoning. If the stomach pains seem minor and they have no other symptoms, send them to school. Later, you can talk to them about any emotional issues that may be on their mind.

Runny nose: Let's be realistic: If you kept your child at home every time they had the sniffles, they'd miss a lot of school. Use your judgment. If they have a runny nose but seem otherwise fine, then it's probably okay for them to come to school.

We want your child in school! They will miss learning opportunities if they are not here. However, if your child is sick, they should stay home.