When to Keep Your Child Home
Deciding when to keep your child home from school due to illness can be confusing. Is she/he REALLY sick or just having a bad morning? We realize the difficulties that come when parents have to take time off from work for sick children or arrange for 'sick child' day care. We are also aware that students frequently come to the Wellness Center and tell us that they were feeling ill before leaving for school. Staying home when sick is an important way to help prevent the spread of germs that cause illness.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your child be kept home if she/he is not able to take part in normal school activities, the illness causes an unsafe or unhealthy place for others at school, or when the child requires care that cannot be managed at school.
Please keep your child home if she/he has any of the following:
- Fever - oral or axillary (armpit) temperature of 100 degrees or higher along with behavior changes or other signs and symptoms of illness such as sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, earache, or irritability. Children should be "fever free" for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine before returning to school.
- Flu Symptoms - fever over 100, cough, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea
- Diarrhea - loose, watery stools compared to the child's typical pattern in the last 24 hours
- Vomiting - within the last 24 hours
- Rash - undiagnosed body rash, especially spreads quickly with fever or itching
- Eye Discharge - white or yellow drainage from the eye or red/pink eye(s)
- Mouth Sores - until examined by a health care provider
- An open or oozing sore - unless it is properly covered with a bandage that will not leak wound drainage at school
- Vaccine preventable disease - measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), pertussis (whooping cough), chick pox until determined not infectious by a health care provider
Special Note: Students receiving antibiotic treatment for diagnosed infections are required to be on medication for AT LEAST 24 HOURS before returning to school.
When your child is sick:
- Have pre-arranged plans for 'sick child' day/child care
- Tell your caregiver about any illness your child has since your child may have exposed other children in child care
Please feel free to call your child's school if you are unsure about whether to send your child to school. The school nurse or health assistant will assist you in determining if your child should come to school or stay home.
Information sources include the Thurston County Health Department and American Academy of Pediatrics. Tumwater School District Health Services endorses the above guidelines.