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When your child has been sent home due to illness...

EXCLUSION FROM SCHOOL FOR ILLNESSES

Some of the following information was adapted from an article on WebMD, written by Dr. Steven Parker, MD., director, division of behavioral and developmental pediatrics, Boston Medical Center; associate professor, pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine. and incorporates GISD Exclusion for Illness Policies.

Your child has the sniffles, or a little cough. They say they don’t feel good. Are they sick enough to keep them home from school?

If they have cold symptoms, but no fever, it’s probably okay to send them to school. When in doubt, always contact your child’s doctor or the school nurse. A child can look sick and feel truly awful before they actually start to run a fever. Please don’t give them medication that would mask a fever {Tylenol, Motrin, Advil} before sending them to school. Children with fevers are considered contagious and must stay home. (See “Fever” below).

If your child frequently claims to be "sick" but is fine on weekends, that's a sign of other issues. Perhaps they are struggling in one of their classes, or they’re not getting along well with one of their classmates, or are having emotional issues at home or school. You should contact your child’s teacher {s} and the school nurse to see if they’ve noticed a pattern to when your child seems to be getting “sick”.

Here are some of Dr. Parker's guidelines and GISD policy to help you decide whether your child should stay home from school:

FEVER:
If your child's temperature is 100.0 degrees or higher, they have to stay at home FOR 24 HOURS
. DO NOT give them fever-reducing medication and send them to school. Children with fever are contagious and will easily spread their illness to others. While at home, encourage your child to drink plenty of liquids. Your child needs to be FEVER FREE for a full 24 hours (without medicine like Tylenol or Motrin) before returning to school. This is GISD Policy.

NOTE: THE NURSE HAS THE DISCRETION TO SEND A STUDENT HOME WITH A TEMP LOWER THAN 100 DEGREES IF THEY ARE FEELING ILL AND HAVE OTHER SYMPTOMS.

***IF YOUR CHILD IS SENT HOME FROM SCHOOL WITH FEVER, THEY WILL NEED TO BE KEPT AT HOME THE NEXT DAY AS WELL***

MILD COUGH/RUNNY NOSE:
If there's no fever, and the child feels fairly good, school is fine.  If they have yellow or green coming from their nose, please keep them at home.

BAD COUGH/COLD SYMPTOMS:
Children with bad coughs need to stay home, and possibly see a doctor. It could be a severe cold or possibly bronchitis, flu, or pneumonia. But when the cough improves, and the child is feeling better, then it's back to school. Don't wait for the cough to disappear entirely -- that could take a week or longer!

DIARRHEA AND/OR VOMITING:
Keep your child home until the illness is over, and for 24 hours after the last episode (without medicine).

***IF YOUR CHILD IS SENT HOME FOR VOMITING OR DIARRHEA, THEY WILL NEED TO BE KEPT AT HOME THE NEXT DAY AS WELL***

SORE THROAT:
A minor sore throat is usually not a problem, but a severe sore throat could be strep throat even if there is no fever. Other symptoms of strep throat in children are headache and stomach upset. Keep your child home from school, and contact a doctor. Your child needs a special test called a “throat culture” to determine if it is strep throat. He or she can return to school 24 hours after antibiotic treatment begins as long as they do not have a fever and are feeling well enough to return. If they still have a fever, they must stay home. See “Fever” information above.

EARACHE:
The child needs to see a doctor.

PINK EYE (CONJUNCTIVITIS):
Keep the child home until a doctor has given the OK to return to school. Pink eye is highly contagious and most cases are caused by a virus, which will not respond to an antibiotic. Bacterial conjunctivitis will require an antibiotic; your doctor will be able to determine if this is the case. This is GISD Policy.

***IF YOUR CHILD IS SENT HOME FOR POSSIBLE PINK EYE, THEY WILL HAVE TO HAVE A DOCTOR NOTE AND PROOF TREATMENT IS STARTED BEFORE RETURNING TO SCHOOL***

RASH:
Children with a skin rash should see a doctor, as this could be one of several infectious diseases. One possibility is impetigo, a bacterial skin infection that is very contagious and requires antibiotic treatment. Also, fifth disease is a contagious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes; it's no longer contagious by the time rash appears. If your child has a chronic rash, such as eczema, and the eczema does not appear to be infected, you child can come to school. This is GISD Policy.

***ANY OPEN WOUNDS OR BITES, RING WORMS, OR OTHER CUTS MUST BE COMPLETELY COVERED WHILE AT SCHOOL-PLEASE COVER THEM BEFORE THEY ARE SENT TO SCHOOL***

*ANY WOUNDS THAT ARE SUSPICIOUS FOR BEING CONTAGIOUS WILL BE SENT HOME UNTIL THEY ARE SEEN BY A DOCTOR***

HEAD LICE:
Please call the nurse at (936) 687-2317 if you discover that your child has lice. You will need to treat your child for lice before they can return to school. IF LIVE LICE OR NITS ARE FOUND WHILE AT SCHOOL, YOU WILL BE CONTACTED AND A NOTE SENT HOME. It includes a form for you to sign stating your child has been treated before your child returns to class. This is GISD Policy.

***THE NURSE HAS THE DISCRETION TO SEND A STUDENT HOME WITH LIVE LICE AND/OR NITS TO BE PROPERLY TREATED BEFORE THEY RETURN TO SCHOOL***

***IF YOUR CHILD IS SENT HOME SICK, THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO BE AT ANY AFTER SCHOOL FUNCTIONS FOR THE REMAINDER OF THAT DAY***