Sickness at school: When to stay home and why

The winter season often brings with it the increase of illness.

Photo of a little girl who is sickInfluenza is on the rise in the community and school nurses are reporting numerous instances of disease at the various schools. Parents, teachers, caretakers, and students can all help prevent the spread of illness by using good hand-washing and hygiene practices. Help us by reinforcing these practices at home:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.  If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Avoid sharing drinks or other products that come in contact with the mouth, nose, or eyes.

There are times when children are too ill to come to school, both for their own safety and that of others around them. Please follow these general guidelines when deciding when your child should stay home:

  • A temperature of 100 degrees or more in the past 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medicine)
  • Vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours
  • A bacterial infection (strep throat, impetigo, etc.) that has not been treated with antibiotics for 24 hours
  • Severe cough or cold
  • Unexplained rash or skin eruptions
  • A communicable disease (chicken pox, etc.) that has not received written authorization from your doctor for readmission to class
  • An ailment that would impair your child’s learning (severe stomach pain, ear infections, etc.)

If your child will be absent, please call school before the day starts and provide your child’s name, teacher, and reason for the absence. You may call before school hours and leave a message on the voice mail.  If your child is absent for more than one day, please call the school each day.

With your help, we can contain the spread of germs in our schools and keep everyone on track for a healthy 2018. If you have questions related to your child’s health, please contact the school nurse.