Sick Day Guidelines

  • Sick Day Guidelines
    Should I keep my child home or send him or her to school? Keep your child home if he or she:

    Has a fever of 100 degrees or higher

    Has been vomiting

    Has symptoms that prevent him or her from participating in school, such as:

    Excessive tiredness or lack of appetite

    Productive coughing, sneezing

    Headache, body aches, earache

    Sore throat
    A minor sore throat is usually not a problem, but a severe sore throat could be strep throat even if there is no fever. Other symptoms of strep throat in children are headache and stomach upset. Contact your pediatrician as your child needs a special test to determine if it is strep throat.
    Keep your child home until his or her fever has been gone for 24 hours without medication. Colds can be contagious for at least 48 hours. Returning to school too soon may slow the recovery process and expose others unnecessarily to illness.
    Does my child have the flu?
    The flu is serious! Call your pediatrician at the first sign of flu symptoms, which typically come on suddenly, including:

    High fever


    Head ache, body aches, ear ache

    Nausea, vomiting

    Dry cough
    If you are unsure about the best way to treat your child’s cold or flu, ask your school nurse, doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider.
    How do I make my child feel better?

    Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and put limits on TV watching

    Encourage fluids; like water, soup, juice and ice

    Help your child relax by reading him a story and giving him plenty of TLC

    Consider using a cool humidifier

    When used as directed, children’s cough and cold medicines help relieve cough and cold symptoms while your child is getting better. Read and follow the directions carefully and give the exact recommended dose for the child’s age. Do not use over the counter cough and cold medications for children under the age of four in the U.S.
    How can I prevent my child from getting a cold?

    Teach your child to wash his or her hands frequently using plenty of soap and warm water. Proper hand-washing should take about 20 seconds or the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. See: CDC guidelines for hand washing

    Teach your child to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their sleeve

    Keep the child’s environment tobacco free

    Try to minimize the time your child spends with other children who have cough or cold symptoms

    Pack easy-to-use products like disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers in your child’s backpack to use when he or she is at school

    Keep an annual well-child exam to follow changes in your child’s health

    Keep all of your child’s immunizations up-to-date (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines now recommend a flu vaccine for most children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday)

    Serve a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Giving a daily vitamin may be recommended by your pediatrician

    After your child is feeling better, clean all surfaces; wash the bedding and air out the room

    Keep surfaces like door knobs, phones, remote controls, toys, and keyboards clean

    Always make sure to consult your school nurse or doctor if you have any questions
    Adapted from The National Association of School Nurses and Triaminic