It is not always easy to decide when to keep a sick child at home from school. But when children are truly sick, they must stay home in the care of parents/ caretaker in order to get well and to prevent spreading the illness to others. If the symptoms are severe, consider taking them to the doctor.

Conditions in which your child must stay at home:

  • When your child is severely ill, irritable, crying continuously, having difficulty breathing severe cold or cough or having a rash that is spreading quickly.

  • When your child seems very tired and needs bed rest (this is common with flu symptoms)

  • Fever (temperature above 101°F [38.3°C]) and change in the behaviour or other signs and symptoms (e.g., sore throat, rash, vomiting or diarrhoea).

  • When your child has an eye infection like conjuctivitus

  • You should keep your child at home if the diarrhoea is causing "accidents," and if the stool frequency exceeds 2 stools above normal per 24-hours for or if the stool contains more than a drop of blood or mucus.

  • If your child has vomited 2 or more times in the previous 24 hours unless the vomiting is determined to be caused by a non-communicable/non-infectious condition and the child is not in danger of dehydration.

  • Stomach pain that lasts for more than 2 hours or intermittent stomach pain associated with fever.

  • Mouth ulcers with drooling that the child cannot control.

  • Rash with fever.

  • Skin sores that are oozing fluid and are present on an exposed body surface that cannot be covered with a waterproof dressing.

  • Chickenpox until all lesions have dried or crusted (usually 6 days after onset of rash) and no new lesions have appeared for at least 24 hours.

  • Rubella, until 7 days after the appearance of a rash

  • Mumps, until 5 days after onset of gland swelling

  • Measles, until 4 days after the appearance of a rash

  • Hepatitis A virus infection (jaundice), until 1 week after onset of illness or jaundice or as directed by the doctor ​​


When to Keep Your Child Home from Child Care[Internet]. Available at: Accessed on Mar 14, 2020.