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​​​​​​​​​​​​When to Stay Home from School

Knowing when to keep a child home from school can be a difficult decision. However, there are some common illnesses and symptoms that mean your child is too sick for school.

Following these guidelines can help your child rest and get better sooner, and prevents your child from infecting other students. 


Parents should keep children at home if they have a fever, which generally means a temperature of 100.4 degrees ​Fahrenheit and higher. A child should be fever-free for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication before returning to school. 

Stomach Virus 

A stomach virus causes nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Children should be free of all these symptoms for 24 hours before returning to school.

Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)

Pinkeye can be bacterial or viral. Children who have red eyes, eye discharge that is not clear or whose eyes can’t be easily opened should stay home from school. In addition, children who are using medicine for a bacterial infection should be home at least 24 hours before returning. Whether it is viral or bacterial, children should stay home until the whites of their eyes are only slightly pink and there is only clear discharge from their eyes.

Steady or Hacking Cough

Children who have minor coughs are usually OK to go to school. But a child who has a moderate to severe persistent cough, or who is experiencing coughing fits, should stay home. Teach children to practice good coughing hygiene, such as coughing into a tissue or the bend of their elbow, and tell them to wash their hands frequently."

Strep Throat

Strep throat is contagious. Once a child has been diagnosed with strep throat, he should be treated with antibiotics for 24 hours before returning to school. 

Head Lice

Schools recommend that children receive immediate home treatment for lice. The child should not return to school until nits are no longer in the hair.