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         It is sometimes difficult to decide when and how long to keep a child home from school.  The timing of the absence is often important in order to decrease the spread of disease to others, and to prevent your child from acquiring other illnesses while his/her resistance is lowered.  The following guidelines represent the more common childhood illnesses and the usual recommendations:

COMMON COLD – Symptoms include irritated throat, watery discharge from the nose and eyes, sneezing, chilliness, and general body discomfort.  Your child should stay home if symptoms interfere with your child’s ability to learn.  If your child is attending school with a cold- please remind your child to either cough into his/her sleeve or cover his/her nose and mouth with a tissue when he/she coughs/sneezes and to wash his/her hands often and especially after coughing and sneezing. 

FEVER – if a child’s temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit, (37.8 degrees Celsius) or greater, he/she should remain home until he/she has been fever-free for 24 hours without Tylenol or Motrin or other fever reducer. 

FLU – the symptoms of the flu usually start suddenly and may include the following symptoms – fever, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, runny nose and body aches.  Diarrhea and vomiting are common in children. 

PINK EYE – Symptoms of pinkeye include redness and swelling of the membranes of the eye with burning or itching, tearing, crustiness on the eyelids (especially noticeable upon awakening).  Children diagnosed with bacterial conjunctivitis must be on antibiotic ophthalmic therapy for 24 hours before returning to school AND free of discharge.

STREP THROAT – Your child should remain home from school until he/she has received 24 hours of antibiotic therapy.  Most physicians will advise rest at home 1-2 days after strep infection. 

SKIN RASH – A physician should evaluate skin rashes of unknown origin before your child is sent to school.

VOMITING AND DIARRHEA – If your child experiences vomiting and diarrhea during the night, he/she should not be sent to school the following day. Return to school should consider return of appetite and tolerating oral fluids.