Too Sick for School?

Is your child too sick to come to school?

Children of all ages work hard during the school day, and for an ill child, the energy required to complete the day is often not there.  Not only does this put your child at risk for prolonged illness, but it also puts the children around him/her at greater risk for becoming ill. As your school nurse, I am dedicated to the health and wellness of all the students. Please see the following information to assist you in making an informed decision about your child.


These are some reasons when your child should be kept at home:


  • Fever – ((100° F (37.8°C))- Child should remain at home until 24 hours fever free without fever-reducing medications.
  • Nausea and Vomiting – Children should be free of vomiting for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Diarrhea – Children should be free of diarrhea for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) – Children should be kept out of school until 24 hours after the start of the appropriate treatment or until physician certifies child as non-infectious.
  • Influenza (Flu) – Children should be fever free for 24 hours without the aid of a fever reducing medication.  Please consider cough status as well.  Persistent cough interferes with your child’s ability to participate in the learning process.  Cough should be under control before returning to school.
  • Strep Throat – Children should be kept out of school until 24 hours after antibiotic is started.
  • Fifth’s Disease – Children should be kept out of school if fever is present.  Student can come to school with rash.
  • Acute cold and/or persistent cough – It is difficult for your child to concentrate with a constant cough and or nasal congestion. Consider keeping child at home until cough and or congestion is under control.
  • Inability to sleep most of the night – If a child is up all night because they do not feel well, sending them to school to “try and get through the day”; most likely won’t work as they won’t have the energy available necessary to finish the day.
  • Pediculosis (head lice) – Stay home until proper shampoo treatment. The school nurse must check your child before they can return to school.
  • Norovirus – Norovirus is a highly contagious virus. Norovirus infection causes gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines). This leads to diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Please see this site for more information on how long to keep your child home from school:

  Norovirus  [PDF]