When to Keep a Sick Child Home

A sniffle. A cough. A sore throat. Children come down with illnesses big and small. Some are contagious, but some aren’t. How do you know when to keep your child home from school?

It may be tempting to give them some Tylenol and send them on their way, but as cold and flu season begins once again, Mill Creek Middle School recently reminded parents in their weekly newsletter as to when children should be kept home from school.

“Children are most successful in school when they are present for as many days as possible.  However, children who are sick need to stay home if they will not be able to concentrate sufficiently on learning or if they may cause others to become sick.

“To help reduce the spread of illness to students and staff, please keep your child home for the following reasons:

  • Temperature Greater than 100 degrees: Your child should be fever free (without being medicated) for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Rash: Check with a doctor before bringing a child to school with a rash.
  • Vomiting: A child may return to school after s/he has not thrown up for 24 hours and is back on a regular diet.
  • Diarrhea: A child who has a loose stool more than one time in 24 hours, should stay home.  S/he may return to school after being diarrhea free for 24 hours.
  • Cough/Cold: A child with a severe or frequent cough and a runny nose is likely not to feel well enough to concentrate sufficiently on learning.  S/he would benefit from more rest and fluids at home.
  • Doctor Recommendation: If a child has been prescribed an antibiotic, check with the doctor to see if the child needs to be on medication 24 hours prior to returning to school



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