When to keep your child home

When to keep your child home:


A question very often asked, especially during the cold and flu season, is should I send my child to school or keep him home?  Knowing that an unnecessary absence from school affects the student’s attitude, work habits, and progress, you don’t want to make the wrong decision.  You don’t want to keep a child home if he isn’t sick either!


Here are a few suggestions in helping you decide if you need to keep your child home:


  • If the child has a persistent hacking cough that makes the child uncomfortable or would disturb the class, the child should stay home.
  • If a sore throat persists more than 48 hours, if your child has white spots in the back of the throat and has a fever, he should be kept home and a parent or guardian should be encouraged to call the doctor.  If there is a throat culture done, please keep your child home until the results are back.  A child with a positive culture for strep needs to be on antibiotics for 24 hours and hopefully be significantly feeling better before returning to school.  Please notify the school health office if your child has a positive throat culture for strep.
  • A fever greater than 100 degrees orally is a sign that something is wrong.  Your child should not return to school until his temperature has been normal for 24 hours, including being off Tylenol or medication to keep it down to normal.


  • If your child has a stomachache that persists or is severe enough to limit his activity, you should consult your doctor.  If your child is vomiting and/or has diarrhea, he should be kept home until you are sure he can keep food down for at least 24 hours.

3.  RASH

  • If you suspect the rash could be a symptom of a contagious childhood illness such as Chicken Pox, Scarlet Fever, and many other viral illnesses, or has honey crusted sores around the nose or mouth that may be Impetigo, do not send your child to school unless cleared by the doctor.  (If diagnosed with Impetigo, your child needs to be on antibiotics for 24 hours before returning to school.)

4.  PAIN

  • Toothache:  contact your dentist.
  • Moderate to severe earache:  consult your doctor without delay.
  • Severe headache, especially if your child has a fever:  call your doctor immediately.
  • Accidents and injuries:  if swelling or pain is present, the child should be seen by a doctor.


  • If your child gets head lice he/she may return to school after being treated with a special shampoo for head lice, after most of the nits have been removed, and environmental clean up at home has been started.  (Laundering the linens, clothing,etc.).  Returning students MUST be brought in by a parent to be checked by the nurse in order to re-enter school. 

6.  EYES

  • If your child has symptoms of pink eye (blood shot appearance, drainage, crusty dried drainage on the lids and around the eye and pain/discomfort) contact your doctor.  The child may not return to school until he/she has received antibiotic eye drops or ointment for 24 hours and has no active drainage apparent.