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Ages & Stages

When to Keep Your Child Home Sick from School

If your child is not feeling well, your pediatrician is the best person to consult about whether they can go to school. Common sense, con­cern for your child's well-being, and the possibility of infecting classmates should all contribute to the decision about whether your child should stay home.

As general guidelines, keep your child home if:

  1. They have a fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit within the past 24 hours

  2. They have had episodes of vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hours

  3. They are not well enough to participate in class

What if they're feeling better but still have a runny nose?

If your child has been ill and is feeling better,but still wakes up with minor problems such like a runny nose or slight head­ache? You can send them to school if none of the three circumstances listed above is present. Even so, make sure the school and your child have a phone number where you can be reached during the day if more serious symptoms develop, and they need to return home.

More information

Last Updated
Adapted from Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5 to 12, 3rd edition (Copyright © 2018 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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