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Too Sick for School? Here's How to Tell

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University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children'sExperts in Children's Health
Infographic: Too Sick for School?

Symptom: Cough

Stay home if…

Your child has a persistent cough with phlegm, wheezing or other cold symptoms go back to school after.

Go back to school after…

Your child has been fever-free for 24 hours and can breathe easily.

Symptom: Eye Discharge

Stay home if…

Yellow / green pus or pink eye appears.

Go back to school after…

24 hours of antibiotic treatment, cleared by a doctor or no symptoms.

Symptom: Fever

Stay home if…

The temperature on an oral thermometer reads 100° F or higher (100.4° F for an ear, rectal or forehead thermometer).

Go back to school after…

Body temperature is under 100° F for 24 hours without medication.

Symptom: Chills or Body Aches

Stay home if…

You suspect flu or covid-19 — they spread rapidly.

Go back to school after…

Acute symptoms have been gone for 24 hours (congestion and cough can take 1 &mdash 2 weeks to clear).

Symptom: Rash

Stay home if…

Redness and itchiness affect all or most of your child’s body, is spreading or there are other signs of illness.

Go back to school after…

The rash is gone — or your pediatrician gives the OK.

Symptom: Sore Throat

Stay home if…

You or your doctor suspects or diagnoses strep throat or temperature is above 100° F.

Go back to school after…

24 hours after starting antibiotics (strep +) or no fever for 24 hours and symptom-free (strep -).

Symptom: Stomach Ache

Stay home if…

Your child is vomiting or has uncontrolled diarrhea.

Go back to school after…

24 hours of no vomiting and your child has control of bathroom breaks.

Call your pediatrician if your child has:

  • Fever higher that than 103° F
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Vomiting more than 24 hours
  • Diarrhea more than 1 week
  • Fever lasting 4 days or longer

Your pediatrician should always be your first source of information and advice.

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