When Should I Keep My Child Home?
Contagious illness is always with us and can be spread in a variety of ways. For example, the flu is spread when a person who has a virus coughs, sneezes or speaks and sends the virus into the air. The virus enters the nose, throat or lungs of another person and multiplies. It is important to teach everyone not to share personal items such as food, drink containers, water bottles, lipstick etc as these items can harbor and transfer germs between people.
We are trying to ensure that all of our students and staff stay as healthy as possible. Hand washing is the number one way to reduce spread of illness. We are reminding students to be diligent in washing their hands while at school. Hand gel will be available to students, especially in rooms that do not have access to sink and water. In order for hand gel to be effective, it must contain at least 60% alcohol. Getting enough sleep at night and good nutrition also play a role in staying healthy. Flu shots are recommended for all children age 6mo to 18yrs and adults over 50, especially those with chronic health conditions.
When your child is ill, he/she is more likely to contract other illnesses. Your child also exposes other students and staff when he/she comes to school sick. If your child has any of the symptoms below, please keep him/her at home until the symptoms subside.
These are the same guidelines that the school nurse uses to evaluate students who may need to go home:
- APPEARANCE/BEHAVIOR: unusually tired, difficult to wake, pale, skin rash, lack of appetite; these are often signs of underlying illness.
- FEVER: temperature of 100 degrees or higher. Child may be sent home without a fever if other symptoms are present.
- SORE THROAT: especially with fever and/or swollen glands.
- VOMITING/DIARRHEA: within the past 24 hours.
- NASAL DRAINAGE/COUGH: yellow or green nasal drainage and/or chronic coughing may prevent your child or other students from being able to concentrate. They may expose others to illness, especially if they cannot control their secretions. Severe coughs should be evaluated by a health care provider to rule out Pertussis or "whooping cough".
- RASH: Any rash of unknown cause should be considered contagious. Please have your child examined by a health care provider to determine the cause and communicability of the rash before sending him/her to school. The school may require a note from the health care provider stating that the rash is not contagious.
- Other: For other specific diseases or health difficulties it is always a good idea to contact the school nurse. We are happy to share information and resources anytime!
Students should be fever-free without fever reducing medication and no vomiting/diarrhea for 24 hours before returning to school.
It is not unusual for students to feel better in the morning and then worse as the day goes along. The school is not equipped for prolonged care of your sick child. We require that you or an emergency contact will pick up your sick child within the hour that you are called. It is important for the school to have a list of local emergency contacts that are available to pick up your child in the event that we are not able to reach you. Please notify the school if there are changes to your contacts.
We need everyone's cooperation, to be better able to provide a healthy learning environment for our students and staff members.