Staying Home Sick

When Should I keep my child home from school?

Many parents are concerned about when to keep children home or send them to school.

Every day in school is very important for your child’s educational progress. However, children who are ill don’t learn well, and may pass the illness on to others.

To maintain a safe and healthy learning environment for all, the following guidelines are suggested to help families determine if your child is well enough to attend school.

Tracy Public School District


Keeping an ill child home may decrease the spread of the disease to others in school. Children with the symptoms listed below should be kept home from school until symptoms improve; or a healthcare provider has determined that the child can return; or children can participate in routine activities without more staff supervision than usual.

Exclude children with any of the following:



School Exclusion Criteria


Encourage child to cover cough and practice good hand washing

Unable to participate in routine activities or needs more care than can be provided by the school staff.




An elevation of body temperature above normal and accompanied by behavior changes, stiff neck, difficulty breathing, rash, sore throat, and/or other signs or symptoms of illness; or is unable to participate in routine activities. Measure temperature before giving medications to reduce fever.

  • Axillary (armpit) temperature: 100 F or higher
  • Oral temperature: 101 F or higher


Signs/Symptoms of Possible Severe Illness


Child is unusually tired, has uncontrolled coughing, unexplained irritability, persistent crying, difficulty breathing, wheezing, or other unusual signs for the child. Keep home until a health care provider has done an evaluation to rule out severe illness.



(that is not from diet changes, medication)

Increase fluid to prevent dehydration

Diarrhea is defined as an increased number of stools compared with a child's normal pattern, along with decreased stool form and/or stools that are watery, bloody, or contain mucus.

Exclude until 24 hours after diarrhea stops or until a medical exam indicates that it is not due to a contagious disease.



Increase fluid to prevent dehydration

Child has vomited two or more times in the previous 24 hours.

Keep home for 24 hours after last episode of vomiting, unless it is determined to be caused by a non contagious condition and the child is not in danger of dehydration.


Rash with Fever or Behavior Change


Keep home until a medical exam indicates these symptoms are not those of a contagious disease that requires staying home.


Encourage good handwashing, discourage from rubbing or touching eyes

Can return after being examined by a health care provider and approved to return to school.


Keep infected area covered if possible

Can return after treatment of an antifungal cream has been started


Keep infected area covered if possible

Can return after 24 hours of treatment and sores are drying or improving



As long as child is well enough to participate in routine activities may return to school. Contact sports should be avoided until child is recovered fully and the spleen is no longer enlarged.


For more information,

call Tracy Public School 629-5518 (Elementary),  629-5500 (High School) or call your local health department.


When calling the school to report that your child will be absent due to illness, please list your child’s symptoms and diagnosis.  If you are questioning whether your child may return to school please contact the school nurse.  If your doctor recommends keeping your child out of school for several days please provide a doctor’s note.


Mrs. Ashley Swan, School Nurse