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When to Keep Your Sick Child Home From School

Teach Your Child How to Prevent Spreading Illness

If your child is feeling a bit under the weather but is well enough to go to school, it's a good idea to show them how to prevent spreading their illness to others. For example, you can teach them to:
 
  • Cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze
  • Discard used tissues promptly
  • Avoid sharing personal items
  • Keep their hands away from their face
  • Wash hands thoroughly and often with warm water and soap.
 
If your child is sick but well enough for school, these simple tips can help prevent others from catching that cold or other illness.
 

What If There's an Outbreak of a Contagious Infection?

If there is an outbreak of a contagious infection, the school will usually send out a notice to let you know what symptoms to watch for. If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, tell your child's healthcare provider and let him or her know that there was an exposure at school.
 
If you do send your child to school even if you suspect he or she may be sick, let the school nurse know and give them your phone number so that if your child becomes worse, they can contact you.
 

When in Doubt

If your child has a fever, it is probably not a good idea to simply give them Tylenol® and send them to school. After the medicine wears off, you will likely be getting a call from the school telling you to come and pick up your feverish child. 
 
When you are just not sure if you should keep your child home from school, contact your child's healthcare provider for advice. He or she can help determine whether your child should stay home, as well as when it is safe for your child to return to school. 
 
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