When Is Your Child Too Sick For School?

My child is not feeling well. When is a kid too sick to go to school?

This question is a lot tougher than it looks, simply because there are so many variations of opinion.

The best place to start is by asking your children’s school about its policy regarding sick kids; they may be able to provide you with a written copy.

Meanwhile, here are some very general guidelines about when to keep children at home:

  • When they look and act sick.
  • When they have a fever higher than 100 degree Fahrenheit. This is a rule used by many, but not all schools, because fever is a sign of potentially contagious infection, even if the child feels fine. Schools often advise keeping the child at home until he has been fever-free for 24 hours.
  • When they have a known contagious infection, such as chicken pox, strep throat or conjunctivitis.
  • Most schools recommend that children taking antibiotics for contagious bacterial infections should be kept at home until they have taken medicine for one or two days.
  • When the child is vomiting or has diarrhea.
  • In the event of scabies or head lice, talk to the school and your pediatrician to determine the best approach.

The information provided on Health Search Online is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.