Health Services » Too Sick for School?

Too Sick for School?

Children of all ages work hard during the school day, and for an ill child, the energy required to complete the day is often not there. Not only does this put your child at risk for prolonged illness, but also puts the students around him/her at greater risk for becoming ill.


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people with influenza-like illness remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100°F [37.8°C]), or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.


In addition, please consider the following guidelines when making the decision to send your child to school:

  • Acute cold and/or persistent cough - it's difficult for your child to concentrate with constant cough and or nasal congestion.
  • Nausea and vomiting - Students should be free of vomiting for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Inability to sleep most of the night because they don't feel well. If a child is up all night because they don't feel well, sending them to school to "try and get through the day" most likely won't work as they won't have the energy available necessary to finish the day.
Students excluded from school until all vesicles are scabbed/crusted. 
Students excluded from school until 24 hours after the start of the appropriate treatment or until physician certifies student is able to return to school.
Students excluded from school until sores are no longer draining and the child is judged noninfectious by the school nurse or the child's physician.
Students should be fever free for 24 hours without the aid of a fever reducing medication. Please consider cough status as well. Persistent cough interferes with your child's ability to participate in the learning process. Cough should be under control before returning to school.
Students may return when fever free and able to resume normal activities per physician recommendation.
Students excluded from school until 24 hours after treatment is started.
Students should be excluded if febrile. No exclusion necessary for rash.
Please do not hesitate to contact your child's school nurse if you have any questions about whether to send your child to school.