When to Keep Your Child Home From School

The best way to prevent the spread of illness is frequent hand washing. Family members should wash hands frequently when a child in the family is sick.

  • Children with a fever over 100°F (37.8°C) should stay home until there is no fever for 24 hours. Call your doctor if your child has a fever with pain, rash, weakness, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • If a child’s eye is red with cloudy or yellow/green drainage, you should call the doctor during office hours. If an eye ointment is prescribed your child may return to school 24 hours after treatment begins.
  • Children with vomiting or diarrhea (watery loose bowel movement) should stay at home until at least 12 hours have passed without any further events. Call your doctor if the vomiting or diarrhea continues or if your child also has a fever, rash, or weakness.
  • Your child should stay home if he/she has severe ear pain. Call your doctor for treatment.
  • If your child has a sore throat and a fever, or a severe sore throat without fever, he/she should stay home from school.
  • If your child’s cough is worse than you would expect with a cold, keep him/her at home. If he/she has hard time breathing or has a fever, call your doctor.
  • If your child complains of a stomach ache, especially if he/she says it hurts to move and he/she does not want to eat, he/she should stay home. Call your doctor.
  • If your child has impetigo (red, oozing blister areas with yellow/gold scabs on the face or body) he/she should stay home for as long as your doctor advises.

When there is doubt in your mind about sending your child to school, consult your child’s doctor. If you are not sure about whether your child is well enough to return to school, consult your doctor and/or your child’s school nurse.

Remember to make sure that your child’s school nurse knows how to reach you during the day. Please provide the nurse’s office with all available numbers: cell, work, relatives, friends, etc.

This post is also available in: Español