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Too Sick For School?

When to keep your child home from school

Parents and students often have questions about when it is appropriate for students to stay home from school because of illness. The following guidelines will help your decision.

Your child should stay home if:

  • They have had a temperature of 100 degrees or higher in the past 24 hours. The student may return to school when they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. 
  • They have an uncontrolled cough.
  • They have a diagnosis of strep throat. The student may return to school 12 hours after starting on an antibiotic, fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, and feeling well enough to attend.
  • They have Pink Eye with a fever and are not able to participate in routine school activities. An exam by a Medical Doctor is recommended but not required. The student may return to school when they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. 
  • They have an undiagnosed rash.
  • They have vomited within the past 24 hours.
  • They have uncontrolled diarrhea and need to use the bathroom frequently.
  • They feel too ill to remain in class and benefit from attending school.
  • They are having pain that requires a narcotic/controlled medication for relief. Please discuss the management of chronic pain with the Health Office Nurse in your school.

If your child will not be in school because of an illness, please call the attendance line to excuse them for the day and leave a brief description of their symptoms. The Minnesota Department of Health gathers information from schools to better monitor and/or manage an outbreak of an illness or infection.

If your student was diagnosed with a common illness/infectious disease, please report that to the appropriate attendance line and/or health office. The school is responsible for reporting certain illnesses/infectious diseases to the MDH. Please view the Hennepin County Infectious Disease Exclusion List regarding school exclusion information for specific illnesses/infectious diseases.

A physician’s order and written parent/guardian permission is needed in order to be able to administer any medication while at school.    Authorization for Administration of Medication at School Form 

If you have any questions regarding if your student should stay home, please call your student’s health office to speak directly with a nurse.