Keeping Sick Children Home
(Guidelines for Keeping Sick Children Home from School)
Each day many parents are faced with a decision: should they keep their sick children at home or send them 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 home with a fever greater than 100 degrees. 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).
Strep Throat: Following diagnosis by rapid strep test or culture, the child may return to school after 24 hours of antibiotic treatment and 24 hours fever free without fever-reducing medication (Tylenol/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.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye): Following a diagnosis of conjunctivitis, the child may return to school 24 hours after the first dose of prescribed medication.
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.
Flu Symptoms/Colds: A student with thick or constant nasal discharge should remain home. Very few younger children can effectively blow their noses and wash their hands afterward. A productive cough is a reason to stay home. A student with the above symptoms will quickly spread the illness to other children.
Head Lice/Pediculosis: Student must be free from live lice and louse eggs before returning to school. Any child who has been treated for head lice must be cleared by the School Nurse or front office manager before returning to school.
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 the opportunity to rest and recover.