Should My Child Go To School?

Symptoms and Illnesses

Should My Child Go To School?

Parent is Sick, Stressed, Hospitalized


If you are sick, your child still needs to attend school. Your illness does not excuse your child from attending. We all are sick at times so plan ahead for these days. Get a neighbor, relative or spouse to take your child to school and pick him or her up.

Chronic Diseases
(Asthma, Diabetes, Sickle Cell, Epilepsy, etc.)

Chronic disease is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled, but not cured.


Your child should attend school. School personnel are trained to assist your child with his or her chronic disease and associated needs.

Child Doesn’t Want to go to School

Frequent crying, fear, anger, not wanting to socialize, behavior change, stomach ache, nausea
(These can be signs of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, or fear)


You should keep your child in school, but try to determine what is causing the changes. Talk to school personnel and consult a health care provider. Your child may be experiencing bullying or trauma, may be behind in his or her school work or not getting along with others. These and other issues may require your or school personnel’s attention.

Cold Symptoms

Stuffy nose/runny nose, sneezing, mild cough


If your child is able to participate in school activities send him or her to school.

(Pink Eye)

The white of the eye is pink and there is a thick yellow/green discharge.


Your child can attend school, but call a health care provider to prescribe medication/treatment.

Head Lice

Intense itching of the head; may feel like something is moving


Your child can be in school if he or she has had an initial treatment of shampooing of hair with a product for lice.

Strains, Sprains and Pains


If there is no known injury and your child is able to function (walk, talk, eat) he or she should be in school. If pain is severe or doesn’t stop, consult a health care provider.

Menstrual Issues


Most of the time menstrual (periods) issues should not be a problem. If they are severe and interfering with your daughter attending school, consult with a health care provider.


Fever usually means illness, especially if your child has a fever of 101 or higher as well as other symptoms like behavior change, rash, sore throat, vomiting etc.


If your child has a fever of 101 or higher, keep them at home until his or her fever is below 101 for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication. If the fever does not go away after 2-3 days or is 102.0 or higher, you should consult a health care provider.


Frequent, loose or watery stool may mean illness but can also be caused by food and medication


If, in addition to diarrhea, your child acts ill, has a fever or is vomiting, keep him or her at home. If stool is bloody, if the child has abdominal pain, fever or vomiting, you should consult a health care provider.


Child has vomited 2 or more times in a 24 hour period


Keep your child at home until the vomiting has stopped for 24 hours. If vomiting continues, contact a health care provider.


Severe, uncontrolled, rapid coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing


Keep your child home and contact a health care provider. Asthma - if symptoms are due to asthma, provide treatment according to your child’s Asthma Action Plan and when symptoms are controlled send your child to school.

Rash With Fever


If a rash spreads quickly, is not healing, or has open weeping wounds, you should keep your child at home and have him or her seen by a health care provider.

Strep Throat

Sore throat, fever, stomach ache, and red, swollen tonsils


Keep your child at home for the first 24 hours after an antibiotic is begun.

Vaccinate Preventable Diseases

Chicken Pox - fever, headache, stomach ache or sore throat, then a red itchy skin rash develops on the stomach first and then limbs and face.

Measles & Rubella (German Measles) – swollen glands, rash that starts behind ears then the face and the rest of the body, sore joints, mild fever and cough, red eyes

Mumps – fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, swollen tender salivary glands

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) – many rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched “whoop”, vomiting, very tired


Keep your child at home until a health care provider has determined that your child is not contagious.

COVID-19 Home Screening Tool