Making the Right Call When Your Child Is Sick
School policy (and state public health guidelines) requires a child stay home if he or she:
- Has a fever of 100.0 degrees or higher
- Has been vomiting or has diarrhea
- Has symptoms that keep him or her from participating in school, such as:
- Very tired or lack of appetite
- Cough that he or she cannot control, sneezing often
- Headache, body aches, or earache
- Sore Throat—a minor sore throat is ok for school, but a severe sore throat could be strep throat, even if there is no fever. Other symptoms of strep throat in children are headache, stomach upset, or rash. Call your doctor if your child has these symptoms.
It is good practice to keep your child home until:
- His or her fever has been gone for 24 hours without medicine. Many illnesses can be contagious for at least 48 hours. Returning to school too soon may slow recovery or allow them to be exposed to other germs while they are still getting better. Sending your sick child back too soon exposes other people unnecessarily to illness.
- 24 hours after last vomiting or diarrhea episode.
- Rashes have been identified and diagnosed. Since a rash is a hallmark symptom of many infectious diseases, it is important to identify the cause of a rash. Parents/guardians of children with a rash of unexplained origin will be asked to consult with a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
- Fevers and/or the thick and discolored nasal discharge associated with runny noses have passed. If a runny nose is your child’s only symptom it is ok to send him or her to school.
- Pink eye has been treated with medication for 24 hours.
Bring your child to school if:
- It is wet or cold outside. Children do not play outside if the weather is hazardous.
- Your child has overslept. “Better late than never.”
- Your child is complaining of not feeling well but has no definite symptoms. I will call you if something more develops.