Too Sick for School?
Deciding when a child is too sick to go to school and too sick for after school programs can be a difficult decision for parents to make. When trying to decide, use these guidelines to help make the best decision.
Last updated September 19, 2022, 4:22 p.m.
Reasons your student may be too sick for school
There are various medical conditions which may require your child to stay home from school. Below are some signs your child should stay home from school:
- Appearance, Behavior – unusually tired, pale, lack of appetite, difficult to wake, confused or irritable
- Eyes – white or yellow drainage, vision change, and/or redness of the eyelid or skin around the eye, itchiness, pain or sensitivity to light. This may be a sign of “pink eye” (conjunctivitis) and need medical evaluation. However, students can be in school if there is only minimal redness to the white of the eye and no other signs.
- Fever – temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Student needs to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school. Giving a fever reducing medication just before returning to school does not make a student well. It may only mask the fever until the medication wears off. In this situation, a student needs to be home so others are not exposed to illness.
- Ear Pain with Fever – Untreated ear infections may cause permanent hearing loss so, consult with the student’s health care provider.
- Persistent Nasal Drainage And/Or Chronic Cough – may need to be seen by a health care provider. These may be signs of a condition that may spread to others and require treatment.
- Sore Throat – especially with fever or swollen glands in the neck. A student with a confirmed diagnosis of strep throat may return to school after 24 hours of appropriate treatment.
- Diarrhea – 3 or more watery stools in a 24-hour period, especially if the student acts or looks ill.
- Vomiting – vomiting 2 or more times within the past 24 hours.
- Rash – body rash, especially with fever or itching. Exceptions are rashes due to heat, diapers, and allergic reactions which are not spread to others.
- Scabies – Students with scabies may return to school 24 hours after beginning treatment.
- Chickenpox – Students are infectious 1 – 2 days before the rash appears and until the blisters (sores) are dry and crusted. This is usually 5‐6 days after the rash appears. Students need to stay home until all lesions have crusted over and there are no new lesions in 24 hours. If your child has chicken pox, alert the school nurse.
- COVID-19 – Students who have symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and be tested and/or see a health care provider. View the latest guidance here.
Keeping ill students at home & encouraging frequent hand washing protects all, including those with fragile immune systems & certain medical conditions. While we regret any inconvenience, it may result in fewer lost workdays & less illness for family members.
- COVID-19 Health and Safety
- School Module for Immunization Records
- School Nurses
- Required Health Forms
- Individual Health Plans
- Too Sick for School?
- Vision & Hearing Screening
- Health Resources
- Fentanyl Crisis Resources