Should I keep my child home from school?
Deciding when a child is too sick to go to school can be difficult. In order for your child to be available for learning, and to help control the spread of infections at school, it is important to keep your child home when they are sick. If any of these symptoms or illnesses are suspected during the school day, your child will be sent home. If diagnosed with a contagious disease, a health care provider’s statement may be required for the student to return to school.
Chicken Pox - Yes
Children with uncomplicated chicken pox may return to school on the sixth day after the onset of the rash or when the spots are all dried and crusted, whichever is longer.
Cough/Cold Symptoms - Yes
Keep your child home if the cough is persistent, produces phlegm, and has thick or constant nasal drainage.
Diarrhea - Yes
Students should be kept home for 24 hours after the last episode of diarrhea without the use of medicine.
Eye or eyelid inflammation - Yes
If your child’s eye is pink/red, has a cloudy or yellow/green discharge, matted eyelids after sleep, or eye pain, please keep your child home. You may need to contact your child’s health care provider. If diagnosed with pink eye (conjunctivitis) students may return 24 hours after treatment is started.
Fever 100°F - Yes
Students should stay home if their temperature is 100°F or higher. Students may return when they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.
Fifths Disease - No
By the time the rash appears, children are no longer contagious and do not need to stay home.
Flu-like Illness - Yes
Students with fever and cough or sore throat should stay home and not attend school for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without using fever reducing medication. Students should stay home even if they are using anti-viral medication.
Hand, Foot, Mouth - Yes
Students with fever and who do not feel well enough to participate in school should stay home. Students may return when they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.
Head Lice- Yes
Students may return after their hair has been treated and hair is nit free.
Impetigo - Yes
Students may return to school 24 hours after treatment starts. Sores should be covered when student is at school.
Poison Ivy - No
Poison Ivy is not contagious, students do not need to stay home. Open lesions should be covered when student is at school.
Rash, eruption of skin - Possible
Rashes have many different causes. You may need to contact your child's health care provider. Skin infections should be covered with clean dry dressings that will contain the drainage when the student is at school.
Ringworm - No
Student may come to school as long as the area is treated and is covered when the student is at school.
Sore throat/tonsillitis - Yes
Keep your child home for a moderate to severe sore throat and contact your health care provider. If diagnosed with strep throat, your child may return to school 24 hours after treatment has started and fever is no longer present.
Staph Infections - Yes
Students may return to school 24 hours after treatment has started. The sore must be covered with a dressing and the dressing must remain dry when student is at school.
Students should be kept home for 24 hours after the last episode of vomiting without the use of medicine.
This list is a guide for parents and staff; it does not cover all situations. Please use your best judgment, consult your health care provider as needed.
References: Oklahoma State Department of Health Fact Sheets, Oklahoma City County Health Department Fact Sheets