School Guidelines for Keeping Young Children Home Due to Illness

  • Your child should be kept home if:

    • they have a temperature of 100° or greater,
    • they have respiratory virus symptoms that aren't better explained by another cause, or
    • they are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea.

    If your child has had a fever of 100° or greater, they should not return to school until 24 hours after the fever has left and you no longer need to use medication to keep the temperature down.

    Similarly, if your child has respiratory virus symptoms that aren't better explained by another cause, they should stay home and away from others (including people they live with who are not sick) until their symptoms are improving for 24 hours. These symptoms can include fever, chills, fatigue, cough, runny nose, and headache, among others.

    The 24-hour guideline applies to vomiting and diarrhea. For example, if your child vomits in the morning at breakfast time, do not send them to school in the afternoon, even if there is no vomiting at lunch. Wait until the following breakfast time, with no vomiting or diarrhea during the day or night. If there has been no further vomiting or diarrhea, you can send your child to school.

    Your child may need extra sleep, fluids or medication to get rid of their symptoms. Otherwise, they are more likely to stay sick longer.

    Sending an ill child to school exposes other children to your child's illness. Children easily pass germs through their play and close contact with each other. Please send your child back to school when they are fully recovered. Then everyone will have the opportunity to experience the best from the school day.

    To check a specific illness or disease, visit the Hennepin County Health Department website.

    Please call your child's school when your child is staying home due to illness. If your child is not well enough to attend school but well enough to do school work at home, you may request homework according to your school's homework policy.