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Educational Service Unit #13


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When to Keep Your Child Home from School

The flu season is in full swing and health professionals have seen a big increase in patients in western Nebraska in the past few weeks. Because of this many parents may need to know what to look for as symptoms and when is it appropriate to keep your children at home.

We found the following recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and feel they are pretty good guidelines to follow. Sending your child to school with any of the following signs and symptoms will likely result in a phone call from the school nurse to come and pick up your child.


  1.  A fever of 100.0 F or higher.  Children should be fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication before returning to school.
  2.  Diarrhea (defined as 3 or more watery or loose stools in one day, with or without fever)
  3.  Vomiting within the last 24 hours
  4.  A rash of any kind with or without fever (unless a doctor’s note is provided that states your child is not contagious)
  5.  Severe coughing or sneezing that is disruptive to your child’s learning or that of the other children in the classroom
  6.  Sore throats with marked redness and/or white spots.  If your child is diagnosed with strep throat, he/she needs to home on antibiotics for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
  7.  Any sticky or colored drainage from the eyes with redness of the “white part” of the eye could mean that your child has pinkeye (conjunctivitis), which is highly contagious.  Your child can return after treatment with prescribed eye drops for 24 hours.
  8.  Colored drainage from the nose with a temperature of 100.0 F or higher
  9.  Skin lesions that are “weepy” (pus or fluid-filled)
  10.  Severe episodes of asthma, including shortness of breath
  11.  If your child seems too run down to participate in class or learn anything from their school day


What symptoms are acceptable for my child to have and still go to school?


  1. Earaches in the absence of fever (they are not contagious)
  2.  Mild cold or respiratory symptoms if nasal drainage is clear and the cough is mild
  3.  Seasonal allergies
  4.  Mild sore throats without fever, marked redness or white spots
  5.  Headaches in the absence of other symptoms