A Note from the School Nurse
Is My Child Too Sick For School?
Each day many parents are faced with a decision: should they keep their sick children at home or send them to school? Often the way a child looks and acts can make the decision an obvious one. In accordance with Maine Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, a child should not attend school if he/she exhibits one or more of the following symptoms or infections:
Fever: The child should remain home with a fever greater than 100 degrees. The child can return to school after he/she has been fever free for 24 hours (without fever-reducing medicine such as Tylenol or Motrin)
Diarrhea/Vomiting: A child with diarrhea and/or vomiting should stay at home and return to school only after being symptom free for 24 hours.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye): Following a diagnosis of conjunctivitis, the child may return to school 24 hours after the first dose of prescribed medication.
Rashes: Common infectious diseases with rashes are most contagious in the early stages. A child with a suspicious rash should return to school only after a health care provider has made a diagnosis and authorized the child’s return to school.
Colds: A child with thick yellow-greenish mucous accompanied by fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or constant nasal discharge should remain home. Very few younger children can effectively blow their noses and wash their hands afterward. A child with the above symptoms will quickly spread the illness to other children.
Sore throat, vomiting, earache or irritability accompanied by a fever.
Strep Throat/Impetigo and other bacterial infections requiring antibiotics. A student with strep throat must remain home until they have been on their antibiotics for a full 24 hours. Students with these symptoms cannot comfortably participate in program activities and unnecessarily expose others to their illnesses; they should stay home for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
Students should be fever-free without the aid of fever-reducing medication, such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen for 24 hours before returning to school.