Guidelines for Keeping a Sick Child at Home

Drawings of Children showing signs of being sick

Attendance at School:
Should my child be at school with this illness?

Unnecessary absences from school can adversely affect children's academic progress, and also have a negative impact on their social and emotional growth. The following information is not intended as medical advice, but as guidelines to follow until you can contact your healthcare provider. If any of these conditions do not improve or seem to be getting worse, or aren't responding to treatment, consult your healthcare provider.

Vomiting and Diarrhea
A child with vomiting and/or diarrhea should be kept at home until symptoms have resolved for 24 hours and the child is able to keep down food and liquid.

Your child may attend school with a temperature less than 100 degrees. Your child must be fever-free, without fever reducing medication, for 24 hours before returning to school.

A child should be kept home if a headache is severe and does not respond to treatment, and is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever.

Earache and Toothache
A child need not miss school due to an ear infection or a toothache if he/she is under medical treatment, has no other symptoms such as fever, and can complete school work despite the discomfort.

Cold, Sore Throat, Cough
Keep your child home if cold and cough symptoms are associated with fever or swollen glands, or if they do not readily improve. Your child may attend school if there is no fever, he/she is not fatigued  and is able to do school work, and if the symptoms are mild and your child can manage behaviors to prevent the spread of germs. If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, your child must be on the antibiotics for at least 24 hours before returning to school.

Keep your child home from school if your child has a sizable rash over the body or face, and if the rash is oozing or due to a contagious condition.

Red Eyes
Keep your child home if the white part of the eye appears red and produces a yellow or green crusty discharge. If your child has been diagnosed with pinkeye (conjunctivitis, a contagious infection of the outer layer of the eye), he/she may attend school after 24 hours of antibiotic eye medication.

Sick children belong at home; Well children belong at school.
Wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading germs and disease.

Drawings of images appearing sick