SICK CHILDREN…. send or stay home?
Guidelines for Parents
Deciding when a child is too sick to go to school can be a difficult decision for parents to make. When trying to decide, use the guidelines below and seek the advice of your health care provider.
GO to school--- If your child has any of the following symptoms, they should probably go to school.
- sniffles, a mild runny nose with minimal clear drainage, mild cough/sore throat without a fever. Nasal discharge is controllable/containable.
- vague complaints of aches, pains, or fatigue
STAY at home—If your child has any of the following symptoms below, please keep your child at home or make appropriate child care arrangements, and make a doctor’s appointment if needed. There may be many more health issues which would merit exclusion. These are the most common.
CHICKEN POX (Varicella)
Chicken pox blisters appear in crops and are infectious until ALL blisters are dried and crusted over (usually 5-7 days after start of rash). Keep child home until all blisters are scabbed (crusted over). Please notify the school.
A runny nose with clear minimal drainage it not necessarily cause to keep your child home. Keep them home with a runny nose AND a fever, persistent cough, headache, nausea, or if the child is too tired or too uncomfortable to function at school. Keep your child home if he/she is sneezing often because this spreads the illness to others. Green, thick nasal drainage may indicate an infection and the need for follow-up with your health care provider.
Keep children home for persistent watery stools especially if the child looks or acts ill. Persistent diarrhea, especially if accompanied by fever and cramps, should be evaluated by your health care provider. Child should be symptom free for 24 hrs. before returning to school.
Drainage from the ear and/or ear pain should be evaluated by your health care provider. Untreated ear infections can cause temporary and/or permanent hearing loss.
Thick mucus, pus, or clear liquid draining from the eye may be contagious. One or both eyes may also appear extremely red, feel irritated, itchy, or painful. The eyelid may be swollen and the eye may be sensitive to light. Please consult with your health care provider.
A child must be fever free without fever-reducing medication for 24 hours before returning to school. Stay home for a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
FRACTURES OR SURGERY
Please notify the school nurse for evaluation of any modifications to physical activity, length of day, or mobility needs. You may be asked to provide written information from your health care provider regarding limitations and special needs.
Please notify the school nurse if your child has head lice. For a noted infestation of lice and nits (eggs), your child may not return to school until they have been treated.
And/or CHRONIC COUGH
These conditions may be contagious and may require treatment. Your child should be seen by your health care provider for evaluation especially if symptoms also include fever, a large amount of non-clear mucous drainage or productive cough.
Any skin rash of unknown cause may be contagious or require medical treatment, especially if fever and itching are present. Consult with your health care provider.
A sore throat, especially with fever or swollen lymph glands may be contagious. A sore throat for longer that 5-7 days may need a throat culture. Students with a strep throat diagnosis may return in 24 hrs. after the first dose of antibiotic and if they are feeling well enough to attend school.
An ill child who is vomiting should remain home for 12-24hrs after the episode and until the child has tolerated at least two normal meals. If related to a head injury, a vomiting child should be seen by the student’s physician or in an emergency room. Please report the head injury to the school nurse.
Thank you for considering the health and well-being of other students and staff when determining whether or not to send your child to school. Please use caution when assessing your child’s health status in the morning and do not send them to school if you are uncertain of what is going on with them. If your child is diagnosed by a physician with a contagious condition and has been at school, please notify your child’s school nurse.