When to Keep a Sick Child Home:
It's normal for children to get sick, and while we want our students to be in school as much as possible, it's also important to remember when you should keep a sick kid home. Deciding when to keep a child at home can be crucial for the well-being of both your child and their classmates.
The following guidelines aim to assist parents in making informed decisions about whether to keep their child home from school. These recommendations align with the Communicable Disease Guidance provided by the Oregon Department of Education, designed to reduce and prevent the potential spread of contagious diseases.
- Fever: Keep your child home if their fever exceeds 100.4°F. They may return to school only after being fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
- Vomiting/Diarrhea: If your child experiences any unexplained vomiting or three or more episodes of watery or loose stools within 24 hours, keep them home. They may return 48 hours after the last episode.
- Cough: A persistent cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing warrants keeping the child at home. Your student may return after 24 hours with signs of improvement, meaning the cough is well controlled or has resolved.
- Pink Eye: If your child has red eyes with discharge, they should be kept home until symptoms have resolved, or they have been cleared by a medical provider.
- Rash with Fever: Keep your child home if they have a new rash accompanied by a fever. They may return once the rash resolves or upon receiving clearance from a healthcare provider.
- New Skin Rash/Open Sores: Students with a new skin rash or open sore that is not improving or are draining should be kept home. Students can return once the rash has resolved and drainage has dried. If there is drainage from a sore that cannot be contained within a bandage, if sores are increasing in size, or if new sores are developing daily, keep the child home.
- Headache with stiff neck and fever: Urgent medical care may be needed, students may return to school when they are symptom free.
- Other Symptoms: If your child experiences symptoms that hinder their active participation in regular school activities or requires more care than the school can safely provide, it's advisable to keep them at home.
Remember, home is the best place for an unwell child. If your child is diagnosed with a communicable disease, please notify the school as soon as possible. Thanks for helping keep our schools germ and virus free!
Your School Nurse Team