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Sickness Guideline


Dear Parent/Guardian:
You don’t want your child to miss school; but neither do you want to send a sick child to school to
endanger his/her health and other children as well. When should your child stay home from school?
Here are a few guidelines you should follow:
A runny nose is the way many children respond to pollen, dust, or simply a change in seasons.
If it isn’t a common cold, then it is an allergy. Allergies are NOT contagious-therefore, DO NOT keep
your child home if they simply have a runny nose.
A bad cough or cold symptoms can indicate a severe cold, bronchitis, flu or even pneumonia.
Some children suffer one cold after another all winter long. A cold is NO reason to miss school.
However, if you child isn’t acting “right”, has difficulty breathing, or is becoming dehydrated, it could be
serious and needs to be checked out by your pediatrician right away.
Diarrhea and/or vomiting make children very uncomfortable. Children should stay home
from school with ONE event of vomiting or watery diarrhea. Call your doctor if vomiting or diarrhea
continues or is accompanied by a fever, rash, or weakness. Please keep your child out of school until
these symptoms pass.
Fever greater than 100 0 is an important symptom, especially when it occurs along with a sore
throat, an earache, nausea, or a rash. Most pediatricians advise parents to keep children home from
school or after-school activities for an additional 24 hours after the fever has passed, without the use of
medications used to lower the temperature.
Strep throat/scarlet fever are two highly contagious conditions. They usually present with a
sore throat accompanied with a high fever. A child with either strep throat or scarlet fever should be
kept home and treated with antibiotics, as prescribed by your physician. After 24 hours on an antibiotic,
a child is usually no longer contagious and may-with a doctor’s note-return to school.
Chicken pox is a very uncomfortable and extremely contagious virus. If your child has a fever,
it itching, and begins to break out into pink/red blisters, the chances are good that it is chicken pox.
Please let the school know once your child is diagnosed. Keep your child home from school at least a
week from the time you noticed the symptoms.
Pink eye is highly contagious and uncomfortable, so take heed when your child complains of
their eye/eyes burning, itching, and producing a whitish discharge. This will require treatment with
prescription medicated eye drop. It is best to follow the advice from your doctor as to when your child
may return to school.
**If your child becomes sick at school, they will be sent home based on these guidelines. You will
be called to come get your child if the nurse, teacher, and/or staff feel that your child may be contagious.
It is ESSENTIAL that the school office has a phone number where you can be contacted during the day
and an emergency number in the event you cannot be reached. Please make sure arrangements can be
made to transport your child home from school and that childcare is available in case of illness, should
your child not be able to stay home alone. If your daytime or emergency phone number changes during
the year, please notify your child’s teacher IMMEDIATELY!
Healthy Children Learn Better

Henderson County School Nurses are doing their part. Thank you for doing yours.

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