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When Should I Keep My Child Home?

Guidelines for Deciding When Your Child Needs to Stay Home From School

It can be hard to know when to send children to school if they tell you that they do not feel well. In general, the best place for them is in school, but there are some times when keeping them home to rest or calling your health care provider is recommended.

Specifically, please keep your child home if they have these symptoms:

  • Fever (100°F / 37.8°C)
  • Diarrhea or vomiting in the last 24 hours
  • Symptoms that prevent them from participating in school, such as-
    • Excessive tiredness or lack of appetite
    • Productive coughing, sneezing
    • Headache, body aches, earache
    • Severe sore throat

In cases where medication has been prescribed, the first dose should always be given at home, and your child needs to stay home until they have completed 24 hours of the prescribed medication.

Students can return to school when they:

  • are fever free (without fever-reducing medicine) for at least 24 hours;
  • have gone without vomiting or diarrhea for at least 24 hours; and
  • can participate in regular school activities.
Please contact your child’s primary care provider or the school nurse with any questions.


Symptom Checker

The common cold, RSV, the flu, and COVID-19 all have similar symptoms. Knowing the signs of these respiratory illnesses can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

  X X X
    X X
    X X
    X X
Body Aches
  X X X
Sore Throat
Runny/Stuffy Nose
Shortness of Breath
X X    
Loss of Taste or Smell

*If you feel that you or your child has symptoms related to COVID-19 please conduct an antigen test before sending them to school. The child may attend school if:
  • the antigen test result is negative;
  • the child is fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications (fever of 100°F or greater) and;
  • the child has not experienced diarrhea or vomiting in the last 24 hours.

A second antigen test should be given 48 hours after the first, and a mask should be worn until a second negative test result is received.

For additional information regarding COVID-19 symptom screening and testing, visit For guidance on when students may return to school after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, being exposed to someone with COVID-19, or testing positive, see our Protocol for Students Returning to School.

The district reserves the right to send your child home following evaluation by a school nurse based on these symptoms or others.

Keeping Kids Healthy

To keep your child, your family, and all members of the ICSD community healthy, please discuss flu and COVID-19 vaccinations with your child’s healthcare provider,  regularly check your child for symptoms, and encourage good hygiene habits:

  • Washing hands for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer before eating, after using the bathroom, after sneezing or coughing if covering your mouth, and anytime hands are visibly dirty
  • Practicing good respiratory etiquette by coughing or sneezing into your  sleeve, elbow, or tissue
  • Wearing a well-fitting mask around others while symptomatic