Is My Child Too Sick to Attend School?

As a parent, you know that your child has the tendency to get the sniffles on occasion but how do you know when your child is sick enough to not attend school or daycare, if he or she is not running a temperature? We’ve all been there…you think your child isn’t that sick only to get a call halfway through the day from the school nurse saying your child is sick and needs to be picked up. It can be hard to determine when to keep your child home and when to send them off to school – Especially because you don’t want to keep them home every time they’re not 100% and at the same time don’t want to potentially infect the other children and teachers. An easy way to determine if your child can attend school is asking yourself if your child can still actively participate in school activities. If your child is feeling under the weather and won’t play at home, then you shouldn’t send him or her to school. If your child is able to play at home and can participate in activities normally, then he or she can be sent to school if no fever is present and he or she is just experiencing the sniffles, scratchy throat, or light cough.

It’s important to note that if your child is coughing profusely, has difficulty swallowing due to the pain of his or her sore throat, has green slime running from their nose, or is vomiting, feels nauseous, has diarrhea, or is suffering from an easily contracted virus like pink eye, it’s best to not send them to school and to make a doctor’s appointment instead. We advise parents not to send their child to school until after 24 hours of breaking a fever and between 24-48 hours of being on antibiotics to ensure they are no longer contagious.

We recommend using your best judgment and trusting your instinct as a parent.  You can tell the difference 9 times out of 10 if your child truly doesn’t feel well or if he or she is simply “crying wolf.” If you’re unsure if your child is well enough to attend school, please call us at JFH Academy to see if we recommend your child stay home or come in. And we appreciate you taking the other students and all the staff into consideration when determining if your child is well enough to attend school. After all, it’s no fun when half the school is suffering from the same illness!

Basic Guidelines Posted in Our Handbook of When Children Should Stay Home From School:

  • Check Your Child’s Temperature - If it is over 100 degrees, he/she should stay home from school. Your child should not return back to school until he/she is fever-free for 24 hours.
  • Your child has a “hacking” cough or yellow-green nasal drainage.
  • Your child has an earache and/or drainage from the ears.
  • Your child complains of a sore throat and has white spots or redness visible in the back of the throat.
  • Your child has a rash that should be evaluated by a doctor.
  • Your child is vomiting or has diarrhea.
  • Your child has conjunctivitis, an eye infection commonly referred to as “pinkeye.” The eye is generally red with some burning and drainage.