Sick Child Guide


What do I do when my child is sick?

This is a guide to help parents and teachers make decisions about sending or keeping children home from school. It is not a comprehensive list of illnesses children might be sent home with, so when you are in doubt do not hesitate to call us or your child’s doctor.

For immunization information, see the Texas Department of State Health Services Immunization Branch. see the Texas Department of State Health Services Immunization Branch.


Symptoms of Illness No Known Exposure to Covid - If a child has symptoms of illness the child must isolate for 10 days or be tested for covid. If the test is positive the child will need to isolate (see covid exposure). If the test is negative then we will follow our regular pre-covid illness policies below. One PCR or Rapid Covid test, will be accepted to rule out Covid. If a parent feels a positive rapid test is a false positive then two PCR test will need to be negative before the child may return to school.

Covid Exposure or testing positive for Covid - If a child is exposed to covid they are required to quarantine for 10 days unless they follow a testing protocol that allows them to return after 5 days with a negative covid test on or after day 5. If a child tests positive for covid they must isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms. If the child does not have symptoms but tests positive for covid then the isolation begins from the day the child was tested. The child may return to school after the quarantine or isolation period unless symptoms persist.

Guidelines for Illness at school once Covid has been ruled out with a negative Covid test.

Illness / Infection / Symptom Should You Stay Home? When Can You Come Back?
Chicken Pox YES When all the pox have scabbed over
Cold NO (without fever)
YES (with fever
See fever guidelines
Coxsackie (hand, mouth, and foot disease) NO SMILE: You’re In School
Diarrhea YES 24 hours after last diarrhea
Ear Infection NO (with doctor diagnosis) SMILE: You’re In School
Fever of 100 or greater (undiagnosed illness)


24 hrs without giving fever reducing medication the last 8 hrs.

Fifth Disease NO (without fever)
YES (with fever)
See fever guidelines
Giardia YES When diarrhea subsides, or your doctor approves readmission
Impetigo YES Once treatment has begun
Lice YES After 1 treatment has been given
Pink Eye YES 24 hours after treatment has begun
Unidentified Rash YES When rash is gone, unless your doctor approves readmission
Ring Worm NO (but you must keep area covered) SMILE: You’re In School
Roseola YES (with fever) See fever guidelines
Rota Virus YES When diarrhea subsides, or your doctor approves readmission
Strep Throat YES 24 hours after beginning treatment, and when you are fever-free
Thrush NO (but you should seek treatment) SMILE: You’re In School
Vomiting YES 24 hours after last vomit