When Should Illness Keep a Student at Home?
Are sniffles and sneezes a sign that students should stay home from school? What about a headache or slight fever? Families often wonder when students should stay home from school because of illness. For many families, deciding what to do can be even more difficult because of parental work responsibilities and the lack of childcare. As a general rule, consider the following:
- If your student has had a fever, keep your student home for 24 hours after the temperature returns to normal (without the aid of fever-reducing medication).
- If your student has vomited or has diarrhea, keep him/her home until 24 hours after the last episode.
- If your student has a rash that may be related to a disease, such as chicken pox, etc., or if the cause of the rash is unknown, contact your family physician before sending the student to school.
- If your student has a severe and persistent cough, he or she should be seen by your family physician before attending school.
- Remember that students who have infectious illnesses can spread the disease if they’re in contact with others. The best defense is frequent hand washing, so practice good hand washing habits.
- Remember to contact your school every day to report your student’s illness. Schools will do their best to provide you and your students with assistance to make up the work they’ve missed.
If your student becomes ill at school, he or she will be referred to the SBHC or health office staff for assessment, and if appropriate, the school nurse will call you regarding your child’s health care needs. All students are able to access general school nursing, without access to SBHC services.