Ill Child

Ill Child

When My Child Is Ill

When should I keep my child home from school?

There are times when it is difficult to tell if your child is too ill to go to school.  Sometimes there is the worry that they will miss important school work. Like adults, children will have different tolerances for discomfort and illness. Even with common colds, some are able to function fine while others are miserable. If you decide to send your child to school when he or she is on the "borderline" of being ill, it is a good idea to have a "back up" plan if your child's condition worsens at school.  Please call school or send a note to the teacher to let them know. Make sure the school knows where you can be contacted. Do not send your child to school if any of the following symptoms or conditions were present in the last 24 hours. You will be called and asked to take your child home if any of the following conditions exist.

  • A temperature of 100 degrees F or more. Your child should be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea two or more times during the previous evening or night.  Call your child's doctor if symptoms continue for more than 48 hours or worsen
  • Blistery, draining rash.  Also, any undiagnosed rash must be evaluated by a physician.
  • Diagnosed with a bacterial infection like strep throat. Your child may return to school after taking prescribed antibiotics for 24 hours
  • Thick mucus or pus draining from eye or "pink eye." Your child can attend school 24 hours after the start of treatment
  • Severe headache. Your child will be too uncomfortable in school if he/she has a severe headache
  • Ear pain with fever or drainage. Your child can attend school after receiving medical treatment for an ear infection
  • Live lice or the presence of nits (lice eggs). Must be cleared by the school nurse before returning to class
  • Sore throat, especially with fever or swollen glands in the neck
  • Unusually tired, pale, difficult to wake, confused or irritable, lack of appetite.
  • Long term nasal  discharge and/or chronic cough.
  • Continuous cough. It will be difficult for your child and other students to concentrate.

When should I report my child's illness?

In addition, all communicable diseases should be reported to the school, even if students develop them over the weekend and are well enough to return to school by Monday.  It is important for the school nurses to be able to track infectious disease occurrences throughout the various schools in order to better provide parents or staff with information about their prevalence and any necessary precautions.

The following are examples of conditions which should be reported, but by no means is this list exhaustive:

  • chickenpox or shingles
  • strep throat or scarlet fever
  • pinkeye (conjunctivitis)
  • ringworm
  • fifth's disease
  • impetigo
  • scabies
  • head lice
  • rotovirus
  • influenza
  • mononucleosis
  • meningitis
  • hand, foot and mouth disease
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