Is Your Child Too Sick to go to School?

  • Is Your Child Too Sick to Go to School?

    Keep your child home if you feel your child is too sick to make it through the school day. Your child should stay home if they have difficulty concentrating or participating. If your child becomes ill while in school and needs to go home, the school nurse will call.  You are responsible for arranging a safe and prompt ride home.

    How do you know when to keep your child home from school?  Here are some guidelines for when you should keep your student home and when your student will be sent home from school.  This information is not meant to replace advice from your child's healthcare provider.

    • Abdominal Pain: The student should stay home for abdominal pain lasting longer than 2 hours or if the pain is intermittent with fever or another symptom. Nurse & Student
    • Bad/uncontrolled cough or difficulty breathing: Seek medical care immediately.
    • Common cold: The student may come to school if they feel well enough to make it through the entire school day, are able to focus on their schoolwork, and participate in all activities at school. The school nurse can administer acetaminophen and ibuprofen if written permission is given by the parent or guardian. If your child needs additional medication in school, follow the instructions here.
    • Conjunctivitis (pink eye): The student should stay home if they are unable to participate in normal school activities due to drainage and/or secretions.
    • COVID-like symptoms: The student should stay home if they have two or more of the below symptoms.
      • Isolation and Exposure Guidance for K-12 School Settings
      • Temperature of 100 oF or greater by oral thermometer
      • Cough
      • Congestion or runny nose (unknown cause)
      • Chills
      • Fatigue
      • Headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • New muscle aches
      • Sore throat
      • Stomachache, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
      • Trouble breathing/shortness of breath
    • Diarrhea without fever: The toilet-trained student should stay home from school if they have had more than two episodes of loose stool in the past 24 hours.  If the student is not toilet trained, they should stay home if the stool is not contained in a diaper or brief.
    • Diarrhea with fever: The student should stay home and may return 48 hours after the diarrhea and fever have resolved (without medication).
    • Vomiting: The student should stay home from school if they have had two or more vomiting episodes without other symptoms in the past 24 hours.  If the student has other symptoms (diarrhea, cough, etc.), they should stay home after the first episode of vomiting.  Students can return when the vomiting is resolved.
    • Fever: The student should stay home and see a health care provider for a fever of 100.4oF by oral thermometer or higher if they have behavior changes or one of the symptoms below.  If COVID-like symptoms are present with fever, see above.

     

    If one of the symptoms below is present, they can return after a healthcare provider determines they are not contagious.

      • unusual spots or rashes
      • sore throat or trouble swallowing
      • infected skin patches
      • unusually dark tea-colored urine
      • gray or white stool
      • headache and stiff neck
      • vomiting
      • unusually cranky behavior
      • loss of appetite
      • not up to date with required vaccines

     

    • Head lice: The student will be sent home at the end of the program day when lice are first noticed and may return once treatment is started.
    • Ill Appearing: The student should stay home if they cannot comfortably participate in school activities.  This includes students who are lethargic or unusually tired, persistently crying, have unexplained irritability, or other unusual signs. 
    • Impetigo: The student will be sent home at the end of the program day and may return to school after treatment is started if the sores can be covered or when the sores are dry if they cannot be covered.
    • Rash: Students with a rapidly spreading rash or a rash with a fever or behavior changes should stay home until a healthcare provider determines the rash is not contagious.  For rashes without other symptoms, the student should stay home if the rash is weeping and cannot be covered with a waterproof dressing.
    • Ringworm: Students will be sent home at the end of the program day when ringworm is first noticed and may return to school once treatment is started.  Cover affected areas that are not on the head or face.
    • Scabies – The student will be sent home at the end of the program day when scabies is first noticed and may return once treatment is started
    • Strep throat and/or scarlet fever – The student should be fever-free and on an antibiotic for 12 hours before returning to school.

     

     

    Resources: 

    AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS. (2020). MANAGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES IN CHILD CARE AND SCHOOLS: A QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE, 5TH EDITION

     

    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, DELAWARE DIVISION OF PUBLIC HEALTH, OFFICE OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE EPIDEMIOLOGY. (2020). MANAGING INFECTIOUS DISEASE IN CHILDCARE SETTINGS: INFORMATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR DIRECTORS, CAREGIVERS, AND PARENTS, 4TH EDITION

    STATE OF DELAWARE, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, OFFICE OF CHILD CARE LICENSING. (2020). DELACARE: REGULATIONS FOR EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION AND SCHOOL-AGE CENTERS

    HEYMANN D. L. (EDITOR) (2015). CONTROL OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASES MANUAL 20TH EDITION, OFFICIAL REPORT OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION