Should a child go to school / nursery today?

Guidance for parents on whether to send their unwell child to school/nursery 

High temperature

  • Give paracetamol and plenty to drink. 
  • After paracetamol, if your child feels better, bring them into school. 
  • If the child's high temperature continues for three days or more, seek advice.

For more information go to My Child is Hot / has a Fever.

Headache, earache and stomach ache

  • Children with headache, earache or stomach ache can go to school - just let the staff know they have felt unwell.
  • Give paracetamol and plenty of fluids to drink.
  • If headache, earache or stomach ache persist... seek advice.

For more information go to Earache and/or Tummy Ache.

Coughs and colds

  • Children should be given paracetamol, plenty of fluids to drink and can be sent to school.
  • If your child is asthmatic, remember they may need their blue inhaler more often. 

For more information go to Cough and Cold.

Flu

  • Children should go back to school when recovered - this is usually about five days. 
  • Not sure? seek advice.

For more information go to Child is Hot / Has a Fever.

Find out more about the Flu Vaccine for Children.

Sore throat, tonsillitis and glandular fever

  • Children should be given paracetamol, plenty of fluids to drink and be sent to school.

For more information go to Sore Throat.

Diarrhoea and vomiting

  • Children can return to school 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting.

For more information go to Diarrhoea and Vomiting.

Head lice

  • Children can go to school with head lice but they must be treated for the condition to prevent further spreading.
  • Parents should treat their children and other family members by wet combing with a nit comb and conditioner.

Scabies

  • Children can go back to school after the first treatment.
  • Others at home should be treated.

Threadworm

  • Children can go to school when they have started their treatment.
  • Everyone at home should be treated.

Hand, foot and mouth, warts and verrucae, athletes foot and molluscum contagiosum

  • Children can go to school. 
  • Verrucae should be covered in swimming pools and changing rooms.

For more information go to Hand, foot and mouth, Warts and Verrucae, Athletes Foot, Molluscum Contagiosum

Conjunctivitis

  • Children can go to school.
  • They should be encouraged to wash their hands to prevent further spread of infection.

For more information go to Conjunctivitis.

Impetigo

  • Children can go back to school when their lesions are crusted or healed, or two days after starting antibiotics.

For more information go to Impetigo.

Measles, Chicken Pox and German Measles

Measles

  • Children should go back to school four days after the rash has started.

For more information go to Measles.

Chicken Pox

  • Children should go back to school as soon as all their spots have all crusted over.

For more information go to Chickenpox.

German Measles

  • Children should go back to school four days after the rash has started. Please let the school know, as pregnant members of staff may be affected.

For more information go to German Measles (Rubella).

Scarlet fever or strep throat

  • Children should go back to school 24 hours after starting appropriate antibiotic treatment.

For more information go to Scarlet Fever or Strep.

Mumps

  • Children should go back to school five days from the start of swollen glands.

For more information go to Mumps.

Whooping cough

  • Children should go back to school five days after starting antibiotics. Non-infectious coughing may continue for many weeks.

For more information go to Whooping Cough.

What else do I need to know?

Medicines in school

  • Children can come to school even if they are taking medicines, as staff are able to give them prescribed medicine in school.
  • Please make sure the bottle has a pharmacy label detailing your child's name, dosage and how frequently they should have it.
  • Please discuss with the headteacher.

School nurse drop-in session

  • Your school nurse is available to meet with you in school. Please ask reception for the school nurse's contact details.

Further advice

  • You can also contact NHS 111.
  • Local pharmacy - see your local pharmacist for help and advice. In some areas there is a new minor ailment service available (check with your GP for details) called Pharmacy First. If your child has certain minor ailments or conditions you may be eligible for Pharmacy First, a service which enables those who get free prescriptions to go straight to their pharmacist for a consultation, instead of going to their GP for a prescription.

Information in this guide is taken from the Public Health England document 'Guidance in infection control in schools and other childcare settings' - September 2014

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/infection-control-in-schools-poster