When to Keep Your Child Home

  • Sometimes it can be difficult for a parent to decide whether to send children to school when they wake up saying they do not feel well.

    The following are a few situations when you SHOULD keep your child home and possibly call your health care provider if they do not clear up:

    • Fever greater than 100.0° orally, including a fever that requires control with medication such as Tylenol
    • Vomiting or diarrhea within 24 hours (even if they were ill the night before)
    • Cough that makes a child feel uncomfortable or disrupts the class
    • Sore throat that is severe along with fever and feeling ill for more than 48 hours
    • Red, runny eyes that distract the child from learning
    • Large amount of discolored nasal discharge, especially if accompanied by facial pain or headache
    • Severe ear pain or drainage from the ear
    • Severe headache, especially if accompanied by fever

    Finally, if you know your child is still running a fever, it is not a good idea to give them Tylenol and send them onto school because as soon as the medicine wears off, you will probably get a call from the school nurse to leave work and come to pick up your feverish child.  Students should be fever-free for 24 hours without any medication before returning to school.   It is better to let them stay home in bed and rest and take their medications until they are ready for a full day in a classroom.