When to keep your sick child home from school

One of the goals of the Health Office is to ensure a healthy environment. Many students and families are concerned about when students should stay home or attend school. To protect other students and staff, parents should keep children home from school when they have any of the following conditions:

  • Fever greater than 100°F in the past 24-hours (before fever reducing medications are given) or if child feels ill or is unable to participate in normal daily activities.
  • Diarrhea or vomiting within the past 24-hours.
  • Rash with fever or behavior change that is undiagnosed.
  • Untreated head lice.
  • Eye drainage or painful, itchy, reddened eyes as with pink eye (conjunctivitis).
  • Undiagnosed coughing or yellow/green mucous coming from nose or mouth.

Helpful tip when dealing with a child who looks well but reports feeling ill:

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your child is truly sick. If your child claims to feel ill but you suspect wellness, please consider contacting the Health Office first before telling your child that you will pick him/her up later if needed.”My mom said she would come get me…” is often uttered in the Health Office. If you believe your child is well, avoid suggesting to your child that a half-day is possible. Instead, we recommend communicating directly with the Health Office to alert us to the specific symptoms the child has described to you.

Tell us what to watch for and what actions you would like us to take. For example, you might say, “If my child comes to the nurse’s office complaining of a sore throat, please contact me at work, and I will come to pick him up right away.” In this way, if the child is truly not feeling well, we will be able to take the appropriate action.


Follow this link to find parent fact sheets related to contagious health conditions: Contagious Health Conditions Fact Sheets.