Is My Child Too Sick to Go to School or Daycare?

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Always go with your gut! You know your child best. If your child has the sniffles but hasn’t slowed down at home, chances are they are well enough for the classroom. But if your child has been coughing all night and has a hard time getting up in the morning, they might need to take a sick day.

Knowing whether your child is well enough to go to school or child care can be tough for any parent. It often comes down to whether a child can still participate. Having a sore throat, cough, or mild congestion doesn’t always mean a child can’t handle class and other activities.

When in doubt, check in first. Give your school or center a call and keep them in the know. They might be able to let you know of any symptoms they have observed in your child or other students.

At KCCC we require that a child not return until at least 24 hours after a fever has broken naturally (without fever-reducing medicines).

If your child has strep throat or other illnesses that require a dose or two of antibiotics, they must stay home at least 24 hours after their first dose of medicine before returning to school or daycare, which can mean staying home the day after diagnosis (or possibly longer). We follow this rule very strictly at KCCC.

Chickenpox sores should be dry and crusted over before your child can return to school or childcare (usually this takes about 6 days). Other contagious infections — like rubellawhooping coughmumpsmeasles, and hepatitis A — have specific guidelines for returning to school or child care. Your doctor can help you figure this out.

Licescabies, and ringworm should be treated before your child can return to school or daycare. You don’t want to spread to your friends! 

If your child has pinkeye they should seek medical attention. You can spread pinkeye to others as long as the symptoms are still there and up to 24 hours after treatment begins with an antibiotic eye drop.

Children with a minor cold or cough can come to school or child care if they feel well enough, don’t have a fever, and will not be miserable all day.

Of course, never send a child to school who has a fever, is nauseated or vomiting, or has diarrhea. Kids who lose their appetite, are clingy or lethargic, complain of pain, are drooling with mouth sores, or who just don’t seem like themselves will most likely be sent home. Save yourself the grief of leaving work early or having to call a neighbor to pick them up and make plans to keep them home.

KCCC follows the IL State DCFS licensing standards for administering medication. If your child needs over-the-counter or prescription medication you must contact or inform the center and fill out a medication form.

For more information about school health please click the button below to visit the Kane County Health Department School Health page!

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Tips to keep Your Child Healthy

Proper hand hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread of germs. Teach your child to wash their hands frequently, especially before eating, after using the bathroom or blowing their nose. It’s also important to wash hands after touching desks, doorknobs and handrails.

To help prevent the spread of illness, teach your child to cough into their elbow or to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue before a sneeze. It’s also a good idea to remind your child not to share food or utensils with classmates.