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Illness: How do I know when to keep my child home from school because of illness?

Last updated: January 19, 2023

Sneezing GirlParents should keep their child home from school because of a serious illness, injury or a condition that can be passed on to other children. Although no comprehensive list is possible, the following conditions may be considered appropriate reasons to keep a student home from school:

Examples of serious illness or injury:

  • Vomiting
  • Temperature 100 °F or greater. Children with a fever (> 100 °F) must stay home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
  • Abdominal pain
  • Earache
  • Head injury
  • Adverse medication effect
  • Suspected fracture
  • Chest pain
  • Severe pain
  • Severe shortness of breath or wheezing

Examples of possible communicable conditions:

  • Vomiting
  • Loose stools/diarrhea
  • Suspected communicable disease
  • Nuisance condition not currently being treated, e.g., ringworm, scabies, head lice
  • Red, draining eyes
  • Persistent runny nose with yellow/green discharge, accompanied by fever
  • Productive cough, accompanied by fever
  • Undiagnosed rash

Parents should consult with their doctor for advice and/or treatment of the conditions or symptoms listed here.

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