When to Stay Home

Stomachache, vomiting and/or diarrhea: A child with vomiting and/or diarrhea should be kept at home until symptoms have resolved for approximately 12 hours, and the child is able to keep down food and liquid. Consult your doctor if fever or stomach pains persist or your child has poor oral intake and appears dehydrated (dry mouth, no tears, sunken eye, urinates less than 4 times in 24 hours). Remember to wash your hands frequently.

Earache: Consult your doctor during office hours. To relieve pain, give your child Tylenol or Motrin as recommended by your child’s doctor. A child need not miss school due to an ear infection.

Toothache: Call your dentist.

Headache: A child should be kept at home if headaches are severe and do not respond to Tylenol or Motrin, or if they have a fever with the headache. Consult your doctor should the headaches persist.

Cold, Sore Throat or Cough: Children average six to eight colds per year. If cold and cough symptoms are associated with a fever or they do not easily improve, call your doctor. Your child may attend school if there is no fever. A sore throat in conjunction with fever and swollen glands, may indicate Strep throat. Call your doctor during office hours to have your child evaluated. Children are no longer contagious after 24 hours on an antibiotic, and then may return to school.

Red Eyes: When the white part of the eye appears red and has a yellow or green crusty discharge: Call the doctor during office hours. Your child may have conjunctivitis, a common but troublesome condition which may be contagious. Your child may need an eye ointment and may attend school after 24 hours of treatment. Remember to wash your hands frequently. Give your child a separate towel and washcloth.

Fever: Your child may attend school with a temperature less than 99.4 degrees. Fevers are generally signs of infection. Make sure that you have a thermometer at home and can readily take your child’s temperature. Consult your doctor for the best anti-fever medication for your child and if the fever is associated with other symptoms.

Rash: A rash is usually a sign of a viral illness. It may also be a reaction to medication or chemical (plant, detergents). If your child has an unusual rash, or it is associated with a fever, contact your doctor. Keep your child home from school until you have discussed the rash with your doctor.

Children are sometimes kept home from school for reasons other than illness. Unnecessary absence from school may have a bad effect on the student’s attitude, work habits, and progress. Use your own good common sense and remember:

sick children belong at home – well children belong in school.