No parent wants a child to miss school without good reason. But sending a sick child to class can make a condition worse and put other children at risk. The following guidelines may help clarify that tough morning decision:
Don’t keep a child home for:
1. Sniffles, a runny nose, and a mild cough without fever.
2. Vague complaints of aches, pains, or fatigue.
3. A single episode of diarrhea or vomiting without any other symptoms
Children should usually be kept at home if any of the following conditions are present (keep in mind the absence of fever does not always indicate the child is well enough to attend school):
1. Fever over 100 degrees within the past 24 hours- Fever can be a sign of illness. A child with a temp of 100.0 or higher should not attend school. The child should be fever free for at least 24 hours before returning to school without the aid of Tylenol or Motrin. Texas Administrative Code, Rule 97.7, children with fever are to be excluded from school until fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever suppressing medications. Fever is a temperature of 100° Fahrenheit (37.8° Celsius) or higher.
2. Vomiting within the past 24 hours- A child should be able to retain solid foods before returning to school
3. Diarrhea within the past 24 hours- A child with frequent diarrhea stools and/or cramping and abdominal pain should remain home until they have not had any symptoms for 24 hours
4. Undiagnosed skin rashes- A rash may cover the entire body or just one area. A child that has a rash that is draining or has open areas or is causing the child to itch excessively should not attend school. A rash that is accompanied with other symptoms such as a fever, sore throat, irritability, vomiting or other symptoms should not attend school.
5. Evidence of live lice infestation
6. Persistent sore throat along with loss of voice and/or difficulty swallowing- Minor cold symptoms are common and usually don't interfere with school attendance. A persistent, frequent cough and /or constant nasal drainage may affect your child’s school performance and they may be more comfortable at home.
7. Severe headache, toothache, or ear pain
8. Stiff neck or headache with fever
9. Skin infections
10. Abdominal pain with low grade fever
11. Eyes that are painful, red and matted - A child who wakes up with their eyes "glued" together may have pink eye or conjunctivitis other symptoms are redness of the eye, gritty feeling in the eyes, itching and discharge. We are unable to determine if it is bacterial or viral conjunctivitis or if it is contagious or not contagious. Please keep in mind that Pink eye is highly contagious and we need to work together to prevent an entire classroom from exposure. Your child needs to stay home on medication for 24 hours before returning to school.
12. Strep throat for 24 hours after first dose of antibiotics are given if no fever is present