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When is My Child Too Sick for School?

CVCA Illness Policy

Your child is too ill to go to school if he or she has any of these signs:

•     Has a temperature above 100 degrees F. Your child needs to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.

•       Seems very tired and needs bed rest (these are common flu symptoms)

•     Two loose bowel movements: even if there are no other signs of illness.
Exception: This may occasionally be caused by new foods a child has eaten. Contact the school nurse to let her know about any non-medical reasons for the loose bowel movements.

•     Vomiting: Any vomiting is a reason to send a child home or keep a child home.
Exception: Sometimes children “spit up” due to coughing, sensitive stomach, etc. - this is not vomiting. Motion sickness (from use of play equipment or riding in a car or other vehicle) that goes away after motion stops would not be a reason to send a child home or keep a child home.

•       Has a cough that disrupts normal activity or causes child to become short of breath or start wheezing.

•       Has distracting pain from earache, headache, sore throat or recent injury

•       Has yellow or green drainage from eye or eyes.

•       Breaks out in a rash. Not all rashes require that a child stay home, so check with your child’s doctor.

•       Contagious disease

 A contagious disease is one that can be spread by close contact with a person or object. Examples are: chickenpox, flu, vomiting, diarrhea, colds, strep throat and "pinkeye." A disease may be contagious before the child shows signs of illness. It is very hard to prevent the spread of some germs, especially in a school classroom. Good hand washing will help prevent the spread of germs.

If your child has a contagious disease, ask your doctor when he may return to school and obtain a doctor’s note. For example, children who have active chickenpox should not return to school until all the lesions are dried and crusted. Children with strep throat should be on antibiotics for 24 hours and feeling well enough to concentrate.


School is a child's work. It is important for normal development. If your child is absent often, it may be harder to keep up with the class. It is important your child does not miss more than a few days of school a year due to illness. Ask your doctor if you are not sure about keeping your child home. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.

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