Guidelines for Keeping Sick Children Home

Guidelines for Keeping Sick Children Home from School

Each day many parents are faced with a decision: should they keep their sick children at home or send them off to school? Often the way a child looks and acts can make the decision an obvious one. The following guidelines should be considered when making the decision:
    • Fever. The child should remain at home with a fever greater than 100°. The child canreturn to school after he/she has been fever free for 24 hours (without fever- reducing medicine such as Tylenol or Motrin).
    • Diarrhea/Vomiting.  A child with diarrhea and /or vomiting should stay at home and return to school only if they can eat normally without problems the evening before.
    • Conjunctivitis/Pink EyeFollowing a diagnosis of conjunctivitis, the child may return to school 24 hours after the first dose of prescribed medication.
    • Rashes. Common infectious diseases with rashes are most contagious in the early stages. A child with a suspicious rash should return to school only after a health care provider has made a diagnosis and authorized the child’s return to school.


    A sick child cannot learn effectively and is unable to participate in classes in a meaningful way. Keeping a sick child home prevents the spread of illness in the school community and allows the child opportunity to rest and recover.


Last Modified on November 6, 2014