When to Keep Your Child Home

When to Keep Your Child Home

The following recommendations are a guide when deciding to keep sick children home from school. The intent is to promote a healthy school environment by preventing exposure and spread of illness. Exclude children with any of the following conditions:


Oral temperature of 100.4° F or higher or an axillary (armpit) temperature of 100° F. The student should not return to school until fever free (without medication) for 24 hours.


Two or more episodes in the previous 24 hours. Keep child home for 24 hours after last episode of vomiting, unless it is determined to be caused by a noncommunicable condition.


Increased number of stools compared with a person’s normal pattern, along with decreased stool form and/or stools that are watery, bloody, or contain mucous. Keep child home for 24 hours after diarrhea stops or until a medical exam indicates that it is not due to a communicable disease.

Rash with Fever or Behavior Change

Rashes may be caused by many different conditions including illness, allergies or specific skin conditions. The student should not return to school until a medical evaluation indicates the symptoms are not communicable.

Eye Drainage

Purulent (pus) drainage with a fever and/or eye pain. Keep child home until examined by a health care provider and approved to return to school.

Mouth Sores

Keep child home until a medical exam indicates the child may return or until sores have healed.

Signs/Symptoms of Possible Severe Illness

Unusually tired, uncontrolled coughing, unexplained irritability, persistent crying, difficulty breathing, wheezing, or other unusual signs. They may return when a health care provider has done an evaluation to rule out severe illness.

Unusual Color of Skin, Eyes, Stool, or Urine

Keep child home until a medical exam indicates the child does not have hepatitis A. Symptoms of Hepatitis A include yellow eyes or skin (jaundice), gray or white stools, or dark (tea or cola colored) urine.

General Illness

Unable to participate in routine activities or needs more care than can be provided at school.

When a student stays home ill from school, please notify the school each day the student is absent and indicate any symptoms the child is experiencing.  Notify the health office when students are diagnosed with any communicable illness. When parents are called about a child who has become ill during the school day, it is the expectation that the child will be picked up within one hour. If you have questions about these guidelines, please contact the health office at 763-258-2507.

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