It is sometimes difficult to decide when and how long to keep an ill
child home from school. The following are guidelines for some of the more
common childhood illnesses and our usual recommendations. It is always a good
idea to contact your physician for a specific diagnosis and treatment.
COMMON COLD: Symptoms of a cold include irritated throat, watery discharge from the nose and eyes, sneezing, chills, and generalized body discomfort. Your child should remain home only if symptoms are serious enough to interfere with one’s ability to learn. It is recommended that medical care should be obtained if symptoms persist beyond 7-10 days, fever develops or discharge becomes yellow or green.
FEVER: If your child’s temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater (or 1 or 2 degrees above the child’s normal temperature) s/he should remain home until s/he has been fever free for 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medication. Remember, fever is a symptom indicating the presence of illness.
INFLUENZA: Symptoms of the flu include abrupt onset of fever,
chills, headache, and sore muscles. Runny nose, sore throat, and cough are
common. Your child should remain home from school until symptoms diminish and the child has been fever free for 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medication.
HEAD LICE: Lice are small wingless insects that lay eggs called
nits. Nits firmly attach to the hair shafts near the scalp. They are small
white specks and are commonly found at the nape of the neck and behind the ears. Following lice infestation, your child may return to school after receiving treatment with a pediculicide shampoo, all nits have been removed, and s/he has been cleared the clinic staff.
PINK EYE: Redness and swelling of the membranes, burning or
itching and discharge coming from one or both eyes. Your child should remain
home from school until receiving 24 hours of antibiotic therapy and discharge
from the eyes has stopped.
VOMITING AND DIARRHEA DUE TO INTESTINAL VIRAL INFECTIONS:
Stomach ache, cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are often present, along with possible fever, headache, and body aches. Your child should be without vomiting, diarrhea, or fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medication) before returning to school.