Health & Wellness Guidelines

When to Keep Your Child Home Due to Illness: 

(From Belmont Redwood Shores School District)

Sometimes it can be difficult to decide whether to send children to school when they wake up with symptoms of any illness or complaints that they do not feel well. There are some situations in which it is best to plan on keeping your child home to rest and arrange for an appointment with your health care provider. 

In order to protect your child and his/her classmates, your child should stay home in the following situations: 

Fever: Fevers are generally an indication that the body is attempting to fight off an infection. Do NOT bring your child if he/she has a fever (oral: 100 OF or higher) with behavior change or other signs of illness such as sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, earache, or other signs and symptoms of illness until medical evaluation indicates inclusion. To return to school, children must be fever-free without using Tylenol or Motrin for 24 hours. 

Signs and Symptoms of Severe Illness: Such as unusual lethargy, uncontrolled coughing, irritability, persistent crying, difficulty breathing, wheezing or other unusual signs. Do NOT bring your child until medical evaluation indicates inclusion. 

Vomiting or Diarrhea (liquid/watery stool): Do NOT bring your child to school if he/she has had diarrhea and/or vomiting in the previous 24 hours. Children will be sent home if these symptoms begin at school. 

Nasal Discharge: Do NOT bring your child to school if he/she has a clogged or runny nose with green or yellow mucus, especially if accompanied by facial pain or headache. The only exception is if he/she has seen a pediatrician and has been taking a prescribed antibiotic for a minimum of 24 hours. 

Ear Infection and/or Constant/Severe Ear Pain Eye Drainage and/or Eye Pain 

Severe Headache: Especially if accompanied by fever

Sore Throat with Fever and Feeling Ill or After Exposure to a Strep Throat Infection: If your child is diagnosed with strep throat, notify the school office as soon as possible. 

Colds and Flu: Colds can cause persistent coughing, sneezing, runny nose, headaches, watery eyes, and sore throats. Children should stay home until symptoms have resolved and their activity level has returned to normal. 

Cough: Coughing that makes child feel uncomfortable or disrupts the class. 

Conjunctivitis (“Pink Eye”) or Eye Infections: Conjunctivitis is highly contagious. Symptoms include itchy, watery eyes, crusty discharge and redness of eyes. To return to school, a doctor’s note indicating that the condition is not contagious or that treatment has been started is required. 

Unexplained Skin Conditions/Rash with Fever or Behavioral Changes: Do NOT send your child to school if they have an unknown cause of rash until a health care provider determines that these symptoms do not indicate a communicable disease. 

Lice: Children with lice should be excluded, but they do not have to be sent home right away. It can wait until the end of the day, and they can return once treatment occurs. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice. 

Other Contagious Illnesses: If your child has a contagious illness beyond what is listed above, please keep them home until they are symptom free. 

No set of recommendations can cover all situations. Please consult with a pediatrician, the health department, or individual school district policies when in doubt. 

Also, please NOTIFY THE OFFICE IMMEDIATELY if your child is exposed to or contracts a communicable disease such as Covid, chicken pox, mumps or measles. These conditions can be life threatening to students who are undergoing therapies that suppress their immune systems. 

Reminder: if your child needs to take medication at school, you are required to send a medication authorization form signed by you and your health care provider with the medication.

Thank you for your support. 

Content Sources:

The information contained within this guide is based on the latest recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the San Mateo County Office of Education, Kids Health, the California Childcare Health Program, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.