Should I Send My Child to School?


This can be one of the hardest questions for parents to answer when a child complains of not feeling well on a school day. This page offers some guidelines for deciding when to keep a child home. These guidelines are not meant as medical advice, but are intended as suggestions until you contact your child's doctor.
Stomachache, Vomiting, Diarrhea

Consult your doctor if your child has a stomachache which lasts longer than 4 hours or is severe enough to limit activity.

If your child vomits during the night or in the morning, keep your child home.

A child with vomiting or diarrhea should be kept home for at least 24 hours and his/her hands should be washed thoroughly after each incident.

Call your doctor if improvement does not occur within 24 hours.

Keep your child home if he/she has a fever over 100°.

A child should be free of fever (without the use of Tylenol or other fever reducing medications) for 24 hours before returning to school.

A rash may be the first sign of one of many childhood illnesses. A rash may cover the entire body or appear in only one area. Do not send a child with a rash to school until your doctor has said that it is safe to do so. Please send a note from the doctor indicating he/she does not feel the child is contagious.
Cold, Cough, Sore Throat

A child with a "heavy" cold and a hacking cough belongs at home even though there is no fever.

If your child complains of a sore throat and has no other symptoms, he/she may go to school. If white spots and/or red throat and swollen glands can be seen in the back of the throat or if fever is present, keep the child home and call your doctor.

Headache: A child whose only complaint is headache usually does not need to be kept home. However, when a bad headache follows a fall or blow to the head, your doctor should be contacted.

Earache: Consult your doctor without delay.

Toothache: Contact your dentist.

Joint Pain: Consult your doctor if pain causes a severe limp or inability to walk.
The Best Defense Against Illness

Handwashing is the best defense against illness and we reinforce this continuously at school. Washing hands at home is important not just for students, but for all members of the household.

Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Please notify the health office if your child is treated for any of these infections.
Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Please notify the health office if your child is treated for any of these infections.
Disease Incubation May Return to School
Eye Infection (pinkeye, conjunctivitis) 5-12 days When eyes no longer are red and sticky with discharge
Strep Throat 2-5 days When feeling well and on antibiotics for at least 24 hours
Fifth Disease 4-20 days May attend if feeling well and has no fever
Impetigo variable: commonly 4-10 days When under care with topical/oral antibiotic and active sores are covered
Chicken Pox 14-16 days After crusts have formed (not sooner than 7 days after onset)

Information from American Public Health Association & American Academy of Pediatrics
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