Skip To Main Content

Keeping Your Child Home from School

The effect on a family with a sick child is enormous – home, work, and school lives are all impacted and often at the least convenient times! Sickness is a part of childhood and students need to stay home if they are presenting with any signs of illness

Children with COVID-19

Children presenting with symptoms of covid-19 should stay home and be tested for covid after symptoms are present for 24 hours. If negative, the student may return to school once symptoms are controlled, and the student should wear a mask. If the student tests positive for COVID-19, they should isolate at home for five (5) full days after the onset of symptoms or a positive COVID test (whichever comes first), and may return to school once the student has been fever free for 24 hours without using over-the-counter medication AND the symptoms are significantly improved. The CDC also requires those who are positive for COVID-19 to wear a mask after their 5-day isolation period for five (5) additional days (through day 10).

Children with Seasonal Allergies

Children with seasonal allergies may present with the same symptoms as COVID-19. They need to stay home until allergy symptoms are under control per their health care provider’s direction or the doctor has cleared the student to come to school with a doctor’s note and an alternative diagnosis.

Other Health Issues

A rash can resolve spontaneously and is not a reason alone to keep a child home from school. Any rash associated with symptoms such as trouble breathing or swallowing, fever, or ill appearance, should be evaluated by your physician. Rashes that are itchy or scaly may be contagious and should be evaluated before sending a child back to school.

A child with eye symptoms that include redness, swelling, tearing, itching or burning, mild sensitivity to light, drainage, or overnight crusting may have conjunctivitis (pink eye) and will need to be evaluated by a healthcare provider. If the child is diagnosed with conjunctivitis, he or she will need to stay out of school for 24 hours from the initial dose of antibiotic.

A student experiencing GI symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting should be symptom-free and able to eat and tolerate a normal meal before returning to school.

Children with lice do not need to be excluded from school but will need to receive treatment before coming back to school. Please see the lice guidelines here.

Sending Sick/Hurt Students Home from School

If a child presents to the nurse with any symptoms of illness, parents will be called, and the student will be sent home.

Please make plans at the beginning of the year for when you have a sick child. Set up a system you can activate if your child is ill and needs to stay home. Also, set up a plan for when your child becomes ill at school and needs to be dismissed early.

Please remember your school nurses are always available to answer any questions you might have on whether or not it is appropriate to send your child to school. Do keep in mind, however, that the school nurse, by law, cannot diagnose or treat any illnesses or injuries and will refer you to your primary care physician.