Too Sick for School?
If your child's temperature is 100 degrees or higher, keep them home. While at home, encourage rest and lots of fluids. Your child should be fever-free for 24 hours (without medication) before returning to school.
Mild Cough/Runny Nose
If there's no fever and your child feels fine, off to school they go. Please remind them to cover their cough and wash their hands frequently.
Children with deep or painful coughs need to stay home and possibly see a doctor. It could be bronchitis, flu, pneumonia, or just a bad cold. When the cough improves and your child feels better, then it's time to go back to school. Don't wait for the cough to disappear entirely- that could take weeks.
If these speedy exits are due to an illness, keep your child home until they are feeling fine and have gone 24 hours without an episode, using no medication. Some students are prone to vomit often, and some students don't know when to get off the tire swing. In these cases, after a little rest, they may go back to class if they feel fine.
A minor sore throat is usually not a problem, but a severe sore throat could be strep, even without a fever. Other symptoms of strep throat are headache and upset stomach. Keep your child at home, and see a doctor for antibiotics. Students with strep may return to class 24 hours after antibiotics have started. There should be no fever present.
If ear pain can be controlled with OTC medications, school is OK. A doctor's visit for antibiotics to treat the infection is your call. Your child is welcome in the classroom either way as long as they feel well and have no ear drainage.
Pink eye is a very contagious virus that will not respond to antibiotics. A fever with pink eye is a sign of bacterial conjunctivitis and will require an antibiotic. Your doctor can determine if this is the case. If the eyes are too painful and itchy, staying home is your best option. At school, a student with pink eyes will be asked to wash their hands frequently.
Children with a persistent skin rash should see a doctor, as this could be one of several infectious diseases. One possibility is impetigo, a bacterial skin infection that spreads easily and can require an antibiotic. Also, fifth disease is a viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It's no longer contagious by the time the rash appears.
Your child may return to school after treatment, but please keep combing for nits at home. Lice cannot jump or fly. They only crawl and make us itch.