When to Keep a Child Home
When Should A Child Stay Home From School?
How is a Parent to Know?
A Parent is generally the best judge of when a child is too ill to attend school. Sometimes it is hard to tell. When in doubt, contact your school nurse.
Most Common Reasons Children Should Stay Home From School
- Fever of 100 degrees or more. Remain home for about 24 hours after fever is gone without using fever-reducing medication. When your child has a fever, do not give a fever-reducing medication and send your child to school.
- Vomiting or diarrhea. Stay home 24 hours after last episode and encourage fluids.
- Sore throat. Strep may be present, even without a fever. A person with a strep infection may have a headache and stomachache. If your child has been diagnosed with strep throat (by a special test done at the doctor’s office), your child should stay home for 24 hours after antibiotics have been started.
- Runny nose, cough. A child who is feeling run down, not sleeping well due to a cold, or actively sneezing or coughing is not going to be able to pay attention and learn.
- Earaches. Take your child to a doctor if the earache lasts more than a day or if the pain is severe.
- Skin rash. Take your child to a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. Treatment must be given for 24 hours before returning to school.
- Pinkeye. If the white of your child’s eye is red and has any drainage, you should keep him home from school. You should contact your child’s doctor.
- Head Lice. Children who are found to have lice should be treated before returning to school. You need to contact the school nurse. Get your child back in school as quickly as possible. He/she should not miss more than one day of school.
Suggestions to Prevent Illness
- Make sure your child gets enough sleep at night.
- Eat a well balanced diet of low fat and low sugar foods.
- Wash hands with soap and water frequently, especially before eating.
- Provide an environment that is physically and emotionally safe.
- Build a relationship with your child that is based on time spent and honest human interaction.
- Get daily exercise.
- Teach your child to cough and sneeze in their elbow.
Handwashing is the single most important method to preventing the spread of illness and keeping yourself healthy. Click here to learn more about handwashing www.cdc.gov/Features/HandWashing/.