Mar 26, 2018

Dr. Gellner: When your child is sick, parents often wonder when to keep their child home from school. So what do schools want parents to know about keeping their child home? I'm Dr. Cindy Gellner and I'll talk about this on The Scope.

Announcer: Keep your kids healthy and happy. You are now entering The Healthy Kid Zone with Dr. Cindy Gellner on The Scope.

Dr. Gellner: You know, this is a question I get a lot. There are a few situations in which your child absolutely must be kept home. If your child has a fever, vomited, or has had diarrhea, no go. Your child has to have no fever or vomiting and no severe diarrhea for 24 hours without medication before they can return to school. With colds lasting two to three weeks, you can't keep them out of school for that long. But during the acute phases of a cold, when they have a ton of boogers, they're coughing constantly, or their throats hurt so much they can't swallow, that's when they need to stay home.

Schools will also send kids home if they have red, goopy eyes. Rashes that look unusual should be checked out by a doctor to find out if they are contagious or not. This includes rashes that are oozy or have pus. Now, a lot of kids have eczema, and that's not a rash that needs to be checked out every time it flares up. You might want to let your school know if your child has eczema so they can be on the lookout for it.

Finally, if your child has head or body lice, they need to be treated before they return to school. If you're ever not sure if it's okay to send your child to school, check your school's policy on sick kids or ask your child's pediatrician.

Announcer: Want The Scope delivered straight to your inbox? Enter your email address at and click "Sign Me Up" for updates of our latest episodes. The Scope Radio is a production of University of Utah Health Sciences.

For Patients