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When to keep your child home from school

Guidelines for Parents on Keeping Ill Children at Home

It’s sometimes difficult to know when to send your child to school and when to keep them home.  During the time of this global pandemic, please do not send your child to school when ill.  Your child will not be penalized for missing class due to illness.

Handwashing is the one of the best protections against germs.  Please encourage your child to make frequent handwashing part of their daily routine.  This protects the health of  your child and of others around them. Wearing a mask, covering both nose and mouth, when in public is an important step in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.  Make sure your child is wearing a mask whenever in a public setting if other people are present.

Please do not send a child with the following symptoms to school:

  • Recent exposure to a family member or community member with COVID-19.  Your child’s attendance will not be penalized for missing school due to recent exposure. Please make sure to report reason for absence to the attendance office.
  • Fever of 99.5 or more. It is recommended that your student remains at home until  they have been fever free for the past 24 hours without the help of a fever reducing medication.
  • Vomiting–keep home if your child has vomited in the last 24 hours.
  • Diarrhea–keep home until normal stools have resumed.
  • Cough and difficulty breathing–do not send your child to school if they have labored breathing, rapid breathing while at rest, wheezing, or a blue tinge to skin or nailbeds.  Take your child to an ER immediately with any of the above symptoms.
  • Antibiotics, first 24 hours–if your child has been prescribed antibiotics, they should take them for a full 24 hours before returning to school.  If your child requires antibiotics to be taken during school hours, the Authorization for Medication form (Forma en Español) must be completed by the doctor and the medication must be delivered to the school health office in the original container.
  • Rash that is undiagnosed.  A physician’s note is required to verify that the child is not contagious and may return to school.
  • Chicken Pox–keep your child at home until blisters are scabbed over and there are no signs of illness.
  • Impetigo–keep your child home for 24 hours after starting antibiotic treatment.
  • Ringworm–keep home until prescribed treatment is started.  Upon return to school, cover affected areas with clothing or a bandage.
  • Scabies–until treatment prescribed by a medical doctor has been completed.
  • Lice policy–if your child has lice, please treat with an over the counter lice shampoo and comb out the nits using a lice comb or flea comb.  The school nurse will check your child’s head upon their return to school to confirm that no live lice remain.  Continue to comb out the nits daily for two weeks following the discovery of lice.  Vigilant combing out of nits is the best prevention of lice recurrence.   Please do not keep your child home multiple days for head lice.  They can be treated in the evening after school and return to school the next morning.

If at any time you are unsure if your child’s illness in contagious, please call your child’s primary physician.  If you have further questions, please contact the school nurse at the school site.