School Nurse

Amy Amelsberg

Amy Amelsberg

Middle School Nurse

Guidelines for Keeping Your Child Home from School

Parents often wonder whether or not they should send their child to school when they have a mild illness. If your child has any of the following, you should keep him/her at home:

  • Fever of 100°F or more; they should stay home for 24 hours AFTER their temperature has returned to normal, without fever reducing medication.
  • If your child has vomited or had diarrhea, they should stay home until 24 hours AFTER the last episode.
  • If your child has any rash that might be disease related or you don’t know the cause, check with your primary physician BEFORE sending your child to school.
  • If your child has started on antibiotics for any reason, keep them at home until they’ve had a FULL 24 HOURS of medication.
  • Purulent (pus-like) eye drainage.
  • Symptoms of severe illness such as: unusual fatigue, uncontrolled cough, difficulty breathing.
  • Any illness in which your child is unable to participate and function properly in school.

If your child is ill, please call the school DAILY to report the illness.
If you have any questions about these guidelines, feel welcome to contact your family physician or your school nurse.

See below for table of common childhood illnesses, their symptoms, incubation period and quick glance at when they can return to school.



Incubation Period

Student Should Stay Home

Common Cold

Watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, fatigue

1 to 3 days

Okay to come to school unless child has other symptoms requiring exclusion

Pink Eye

Red, itchy eyes, pus-like drainage from eyes

1 to 3 days

Until diagnosis is verified and bacterial infection is treated for 24 hours

Influenza (Flu)

Fever, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, congestion, fatigue

1 to 3 days

Until 24 hours without fever and well enough to return to usual activities


Fever, sore throat, swollen glands, headache, fatigue

4 to 6 weeks

Until well enough to return to usual activities; Physician authorization for sports participation

Chicken Pox

Fever, itchy rash with red bumps, blisters, pustules and scabs

10 to 21 days

6 days after rash began

Head Lice

Live crawling lice, nits (lice eggs)attached to hair shaft, itchy head and neck

7 to 10 days

Until treated with lice medication and no live lice are seen. Must see the nurse before returning to class


Body: Flat, round lesions that clear in the center and may have a raised border; Scalp: Round scaly patch with broken off hair shaft

Body: 4 to 10 days; Scalp: 10 to 14 days

Until 24 hours after treatment began


Skin lesions with yellow discharge that dries, crusts and sticks to the skin

1 to 10 days

Until 24 hours after treatment began

Strep Throat

Fever, sore throat, headache, nausea, vomiting, sometimes a fine, red rash (scarlatina)

2 to 5 days

Until 24 hours after starting antibiotics and without fever for 24 hours