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Is My Child Too Sick to Go to School?

A guide to help parents and guardians know when to keep students home


Students are expected to come to school; however, if your student is at risk of getting others sick, they should recover at home.

FEVER temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees C) or higher. Before returning to school, students need to be fever-free for 24 hours WITHOUT medications to reduce the fever.

SORE THROAT – pain, scratchiness, irritation of the throat, often worsens when student swallows, accompanied by other cold-like symptomsA diagnosis of strep throat may return to school after 24 hours of antibiotics.     

COUGH  persistent or productive cough, new or worsening.

STUFFY/RUNNY NOSE – frequent sniffling or mouth breathing, accompanied by other cold-like symptoms.

EYES eyes crusty, bright red and/or discharging yellow or green fluid.

DIARRHEA unexplained watery stool.  Students should stay home for 24 hours after the last watery stool.

VOMITING if your student is vomiting, they need to stay home.  The student should stay home for 24 hours after the last time they vomited. 

RASH bothersome body rash, especially with fever or itching.

INJURY/SURGERY if students are unable to concentrate due to pain or side effects from medication, they should stay home. Letting the school nurse know in advance of any planned surgery is helpful.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS about whether or not your student is healthy enough to come to school?  Contact the school nurse.


Keeping ill students at home, encouraging frequent hand washing, and covering coughs protects everyone.