Guidelines for Keeping Your Sick Child 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 off 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: It is important to note: sick children should be picked up within a reasonable amount of time, if the nurse should call. A reasonable amount of time is considered as no more than 30 minutes. Please make advance arrangements and accomodations in preparation for a sick call from the school nurse.

Fever. The child should remain at home with a fever greater than 100°. 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).

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, unless otherwise specified by the school nurse or licensed health care provider.

Conjunctivitis. Following a diagnosis of conjunctivitis, the child may return to school 24 hours after the first dose of prescribed medication. Strep Throat: Following a diagnosis of strep throat, the child may return to school 24 hours after the first dose of prescribed antibiotic.

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.

Colds. Consider keeping your child at home if he/she is experiencing discomfort from cold symptoms, such as nasal congestion and cough. A continuous green discharge from the nose may be a sign of infection. Consider having the child seen by your healthcare provider.

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 opportunity to rest and recover.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mrs. Cashman, the school nurse, at 508-892-7050 x303 or

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