WHen Children are sick

If your child is not feeling well, we know you will want to keep her/him at home where you can provide the comfort a sick child needs. Your child is welcome to return when your doctor indicates it is ok to return, or 24 hours after a fever is normal. (Not from the onset of a fever) , or when the symptoms are gone.

Children seem to get sick on the days we are most busy. Please make every effort to keep your child at home if he/she seems to be “coming down with something”. This is usually when a child is most contagious, and needs the most comfort. When each parent takes responsibility for helping with infection control, we all benefit.

If your child becomes sick at school, we will call you immediately, and make every effort to keep your child comfortable until you arrive. It has been our experience that emotional stress in children of this age can have similar symptoms to physical illness. This can include uncontrollable crying, needing to be held, and irritability. It helps us to know if your child or your family is experiencing a particularly stressful time. We can work together to develop a plan to help your child through the experience. Each morning as we greet you we will try to get a quick report on how your child is doing. Did she sleep well? Are relatives visiting? Is one parent away for a period of time? Is there a behavior change you have noticed? Children this age cannot tell us they are tired. If your child should fall asleep during school, the information you provided in the morning will help us determine if she is just sleepy or if she is ill.

What is an illness?

An illness prevents your child from participating comfortably in our activities. An illness requires greater care than I can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children. An illness is when your child has:

1. Temperature: oral 101 or greater; rectal 102, armpit 100. Stay home until fever has been gone 24 hours.

2. Symptoms and signs of severe illness: lethargy, uncontrolled coughing, irritability, persistent crying, difficult breathing, wheezing, nasal discharge that requires constant attention. Stay home until medical evaluation indicates inclusion.

3. Uncontrolled diarrhea: Increased number of loose stools, increased liquid or decreased form in stools, a stool that is not contained in the diaper. Stay home until diarrhea stops.

4. Vomiting: Two or more episodes of vomiting in the previous 24 hours. Your child must stay home until a health provider determines the illness not to be non communicable and your child is not in danger of dehydration.

5. Mouth sores or drooling: Stay home unless a health care provider determines the condition is non infectious.

6. Rash: with fever or behavior change, stay home until a health care provider determines that these symptoms do not indicate a communicable disease.

7. Purulent conjunctivitis (pink eye) defined as pink or red eyes with white or yellow discharge. This is very contagious. See a health care provider immediately and do not return to school until you have 24 hours of treatment.

8. Scabies, head lice or other infestation: Stay home until treatment has started. With lice, there must be no nits visible in the child’s hair when he returns to school. If we see a nit, we will not allow the child into the school. When there is a lice infestation in the school we close immediately and send children home. The risk of immediate infestation in a close comfy environment is too risky.

9. Bacterial or Strep infection: stay home 24 hours after the child has begun an antibiotic, and feels ready to return.