• Common Childhood Illnesses

    Students with contagious health problems should be kept home. A child that is too ill to be at school should remain at home unless a chronic condition exists and a doctor recommends in writing that the child may attend, but remain indoors during recesses or lunch.

    Student will be sent home from school if they experience any of the following:

    • Fever over 100.4°
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Excessive cough that interrupts the classroom or causes vomiting
    • Extreme tiredness

    When To Keep Students Home From School

    If your child exhibits any of the following symptoms:

    • Fever greater than 100.4°. A fever let's us know that our body is fighting something off. We are contagious during this time and need rest. Students should be fever free for at least 24 hours, without fever reducing medication, before returning to school.
    • Vomiting and/or diarrhea. Students should stay home for 24 hours to make sure they can keep food/liquids down.
    • Sore throat with a fever greater than 100.4°. Students should stay home until they are fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication. If they are diagnosed with Strep Throat, then they should stay home until they have been on the antibiotics for 24 hours.
    • Excessive coughing that produces thick mucous. Students should stay home if they are coughing so much it keeps them from participating in class or disrupts their classmates, or they are coughing so hard it is causing vomiting.
    • Ear ache. The child needs to see a doctor.
    • Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis). Keep the child home until a doctor has given the OK to return to school. Pink eye is highly contagious and most cases are caused by a virus, which will not respond to an antibiotic. Bacterial conjunctivitis will require an antibiotic; your doctor will be able to determine if this is the case.

    Of course there are always exceptions. Your school nurse is a great resource.  Please contact her for any questions.

    Common Illnesses Seen At School


    Allergies are an abnormal response of the immune system. People who have allergies have an immune system that reacts to a usually harmless substance in the environment. This substance (pollen, mold, animal dander, etc.) is called an allergen.

    The most severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms can progress rapidly, so head for the emergency room if there’s any suspicion of anaphylaxis.


    Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that makes breathing difficult. With asthma, there is inflammation of the air passages that results in a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. This results in asthma symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Some people refer to asthma as "bronchial asthma."


    A canker sore is a small ulcer inside your mouth. The specific cause is unknown and they are not contagious. They usually heal on their own without medical treatment.


    Chicken pox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It causes an itchy rash and red spots or blisters all over the body. A person is contagious from 2-3 days before the rash appears until every blister has crusted over. Student may return to school once every "pox" has crusted over.


    A cold sore is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. It causes small blisters to form on the lip or around the mouth. Herpes are contagious.  Washing your hands immediately after touching the blister and not sharing utensils, drinking cups, towels, or razors will help stop the spread. Students may attend school but are instructed not to touch the blisters and to use good hand washing.


    Diabetes, the most common disorder of the endocrine (hormone) system, occurs when blood sugar levels in the body consistently stay above normal.

    Diabetes is a disease brought on by either the body's inability to make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or by the body not responding to the effects of insulin (type 2 diabetes). It can also appear during pregnancy. Insulin is one of the main hormones that regulates blood sugar levels and allows the body to use sugar (called glucose) for energy.


    Seizures - abnormal movement or behavior due to unusual electrical activity in the brain - are a symptom of epilepsy. But not all people who appear to have seizures have epilepsy. In contrast, epilepsy is a group of related disorders characterized by a tendency for recurrent seizures.


    Fifth disease is a viral illness, with a very distinctive type rash, often called "slapped cheek disease." You are contagious before the rash ever appears. Student may attend school as long as they are fever free (<100° Fahrenheit).


    Head lice are tiny insects that live on the human body, typically found in the hair. They spread by head to head contact or sharing clothing or personal items like hats/brushes. Student may attend school; treatment with a lice shampoo and removal of all nits is recommended.


    Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection that develops red sores that can break open, ooze fluid, then form a yellow-brown crust. They may develop anywhere on the body but usually form around the mouth and nose. Student may return to school 24 hours after topical antibiotics have been started.


    Influenza is a viral infection that causes fever, headache, cough, body aches, and fatigue. It is contagious. Students may return to school when they are fever free(<100.4° Fahrenheit) for 24 hours without fever reducing medication.


    Meningitisis an infection of the coverings around the brain and spinal cord. There are two main kinds, bacterial and viral. Student may return to school when fever free (<100.4° Fahrenheit)for 24 hours and with doctor OK.


    MRSA is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. Most often, it causes mild infections on the skin, causing sores or boils. Student may be in school if the infected area remains covered.


    Mononucleosis, also called "mono" is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus(EPA). It can leave you feeling tired and weak for weeks or months. Mono will go away on it's own without medical treatment. Student may return to school when fever free (<100.4° Fahrenheit).


    Pink eye is redness and swelling of the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid. It is usually not serious and goes away in 7-10 days without medical treatment. Students may be sent home from school, especially if bacterial conjunctivitis is suspected. Student may stay in school if not bacterial and they are mature enough to keep their hands away from their eyes and use good hand washing techniques. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, student may return to school 24 hours after antibiotic has been started.


    If poisoning is suspected, call the local Poison Center for help at 1-800-222-1222. Syrup of ipecac should no longer be used routinely and should not be kept in the home. 64% of poisonings are unintentional.


    Ringworm is caused by a fungus. It looks like a small round patch of red skin, either blistery or dry and scaly, usually in the shape of a ring. It is very contagious and spreads through skin-to-skin contact and when things like towels, hairbrushes, and sports equipment are shared. Student may return to school 24 hours after the start of treatment.

    {slider SCARLET FEVER}

    Scarlet fever is a term used for strep throat with a rash. It is a rough, red rash that feels like sandpaper and usually starts on the chest and abdomen. It is accompanied by a fever and sore-throat and sometimes, bright red spots on the tongue. Student may return to school 24 hours after antibiotics are started and fever free (<100.4° Fahrenheit).


    Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the tissue at the back of the throat and tonsils. This causes a sudden, severe sore-throat accompanied by a fever >101, pain and difficulty swallowing and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Student may return to school 24 hours after antibiotics are started and fever free (<100.4° Fahrenheit).


    Stye is an infection that causes a tender red lump on the eyelid, which is usually caused by a bacterial infection in a hair follicle. Student may stay in school.

    Health Resources