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Is my child too sick to attend school?

Your child wakes up saying they are not feeling well, and you are confronted with having to make a quick decision on if you should send them to school or not. Students with the following conditions should be kept home:

  • A fever of 100.4 degrees orally with behavior change or other symptoms.
  • Cold symptoms that would interfere with learning. For example a nonstop runny nose, nausea, or too tired or uncomfortable to function in school.
  • Earache with fever and behavior change.
  • Severe coughs, rapid and/or difficult breathing, wheezing, or if accompanied by a sore throat or not feeling well.
  • Toilet accidents with diarrhea until able to participate normally.
  • Vomiting more than 1 time in the last 24 hours, unless the vomiting is determined to be caused by a non-communicable condition. It is important to remember that students who are not back to eating and drinking normally may not have the energy to withstand a day of school and may need additional time to remain home.
  • Abdominal pain (continues for more than 2 hours) or intermittent pain with fever or other symptoms of illness.
  • Rashes WITH fever or behavioral changes unless their provider has determined that the illness is not a communicable disease. Students with chickenpox are excluded until the rash is crusted over which usually occurs after 6 days.
  • Strep throat until 48 hours after treatment has been started. Students with strep often have a sore throat, fever, stomachache, and headache without cold symptoms such as a runny nose or cough, however a throat culture is the only way to be certain.
  • Live lice or nits.
  • Pinkeye or bacterial conjunctivitis (red, itchy eyes with drainage). It is important that your child is able to keep from rubbing their eye and is properly washing their hands after touching an affected eye.


Students with the following conditions may come to school as it has been determined by the American Academy of Pediatrics that students with these conditions do not require exclusion to control the spread of disease to others:

  • Mild common cold symptoms, such as a slightly runny nose (regardless of color or consistency of discharge), and intermittent cough.
  • Mild sore throat. For example if your child was able to comfortably eat breakfast and is behaving normally, they are probably well enough to send to school. If your child has difficulty swallowing and/or a fever, please keep them home.