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When to Keep Your Child Home from School

Fever is the body’s way of destroying the germs making it sick, and it’s a common symptom of infections such as flu. Keep your children home if their temperature is 100° F or higher. Wait until children are fever free for 24 hours before letting them return to school.

Diarrhea is often the result of infection, food poisoning, or a side effect to medications like antibiotics. Keep children home until stools are formed and your doctor gives the okay. Make sure your sick child stays well-hydrated.

Vomiting is another way for the body to rid itself of the germs making it sick, and is usually caused by a stomach virus or stomach infection. Keep children home if they’ve vomited once or more in the last 24 hours. They can return to school after symptoms clear up or your doctor says they’re no longer contagious.

Severe cough and cold symptoms should keep kids home from school. A serious cough could be a sign of contagious conditions like whooping cough, viral bronchitis, or croup. It can also be a sign of asthma or allergies.

Sore throats can be a symptom of strep or a common cold. If your child has been diagnosed with strep throat, keep your child at home for at least 24 hours after starting antibiotics. If your child has a mild cold, (no thick green goop), its okay to go to school.

Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is contagious, and children should stay home from school for the first 24 hours after treatment begins. Symptoms of pinkeye include eye redness, irritation, swelling, and discharge.

Headaches can be a symptom of contagious conditions like viral gastroenteritis, flu, meningitis, and strep throat. Opinions differ on whether a child should be kept home. If your child doesn’t have any other signs of illness, and feels okay, your child can go to school.

Rashes can be the sign of contagious conditions such as chickenpox, bacterial meningitis, or impetigo. Children should be kept home until they’re diagnosed. They can return to school after symptoms are gone and their doctor gives the okay.

Earaches aren’t contagious. There’s no need to keep a child with a mild earache home, as long as your child feels well enough to concentrate.

Mild cold or respiratory symptoms are no reason to keep children at home so long as their nasal drainage is clear and their cough is mild.

Too tired to participate in class is usually a sign that a child is coming down with something.

Call or email if you have any questions, Linda Valletta RN