Too Sick for School?
Children of all ages work hard during the school day, and for an ill child, the energy required to complete the day is often not there. Not only does this put your child at risk for prolonged illness, but also puts the students around him/her at greater risk for becoming ill.
The Allegheny County Health Department has helpful references on infectious illness and diseases. This will provide basic information on the most common infections found in schools and anticipated school absence/exclusion. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, please provide special consideration to the District COVID-19 decision making tool daily, in determining when to send your child to school.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people with influenza-like illness remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100°F [37.8°C]), or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
In addition, please consider the following guidelines when making the decision to send your child to school:
- Acute cold and/or persistent cough - it's difficult for your child to concentrate with constant cough and or nasal congestion.
- Nausea and vomiting - Students should be free of vomiting for 24 hours before returning to school.
- Diarrhea - Student should be free of diarrhea (frequent loose stools) for at least 24 hours prior to returning to school.
- Inability to sleep most of the night because they don't feel well. If a child is up all night because they don't feel well, sending them to school to "try and get through the day" most likely won't work as they won't have the energy available necessary to finish the day.
The North Allegheny Health Services uses the Allegheny County Health Department "Guide to Infectious Diseases for Schools and Day Care Centers" to determine when a child should return to school after an infectious illness. To help us monitor the "illness activity" of our school communities, please include the diagnosis on your child's absence excuse upon their return.
Types of Illness
Students excluded from school until all vesicles are scabbed/crusted.
Students excluded from school until 24 hours after the start of the appropriate treatment or until physician certifies student is able to return to school.
We encourage our students, staff, and families to be mindful of key preventive measures. The CDC offers some tips on its website that can be useful in avoiding the spread of this and other illnesses.
Please remember that if your student is sick, they should not be at school. If your student is exhibiting symptoms at school, they will be checked by the school nurse and may be sent home. The student should not return to school until the parent/guardian has consulted with a medical professional and communicated this information to the school nurse. Keeping children home when they are sick is critical to prevention. The District also asks that volunteers and visitors who are not feeling well not come to school buildings.
Students excluded from school until sores are no longer draining and the child is judged noninfectious by the school nurse or the child's physician.
Students should be fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of a fever-reducing medication. Please consider cough status as well. Persistent cough interferes with your child's ability to participate in the learning process. Cough should be under control before returning to school.
Students may return when fever free and able to resume normal activities.
Students excluded from school until 24 hours after treatment is started.
Students should be excluded if febrile. No exclusion necessary for rash.
Please do not hesitate to contact your child's school nurse if you have any questions about whether to send your child to school.