When to keep your student home from school

School attendance is very important for your student in order to have the opportunity to learn. However, within the school community there are illnesses that may be passed directly or indirectly to one another – especially during the cold and flu season.

If your student becomes ill at school, you will be contacted to pick up your child. The school nurse is not able to diagnose or prescribe medication.

To maintain the healthiest school environment possible. Please do not send your student to school when they are sick. Sometimes it is difficult to decide when and how long to keep your child home from school. Please follow the link for South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) requirements for when to keep your student home from school. The school nurse can also answer questions you may have.    

Your student cannot return to school until the following symptoms have been resolved for at least 24 hours without any medication:

  • Fever (greater than 100 degrees)

  • Rash of unknown origin

  • Persistent Deep Cough

  • Vomiting/ Diarrhea

Guidelines For Keeping Children Home From School Due To Illness


What to do:

Chicken Pox

Even though children have been immunized with the varicella vaccine there is still a 20% chance they may contract the disease. Your child may have a slight fever, listlessness, blister-like spots turning to crusts. If your child has chicken pox they can not return to school until their temperature is normal and all blisters are dry and scabbed over. This usually takes about one week.

Common Cold

Irritated throat, watery discharge from the nose and eyes, sneezing, chilliness, and general body discomfort. Your child should remain at home if symptoms interfere with your child’s ability to learn. Medical care should be obtained if symptoms persist beyond 7-10 days, fever develops, or nasal discharge becomes yellow or green.


If your child has 3 or more loose stools in 24 hours or watery stools with blood or mucus, keep them at home until diarrhea has subsided for a full 24 hours. If your child has had any of these symptoms during the night, they should not be sent to school the following day.


If a child’s temperature is 100 degrees or greater, they should remain at home until they have been without fever for a full 24 hours without using any fever reducing medicines.

Fever with Rash or Behavior Changes

Your child needs to be evaluated by a physician.

German Measles (3 day Measles)

Your child must stay home until 7 days after the start of the rash.

Head Lice

The child may return to school after they show evidence of treatment as determined by the school and the student passes a physical screening by the school nurse or principal’s designee that shows the absence of head lice.


Blister-like lesions that develop into crusted pus-like sores. If your child has sores that are draining and can’t be covered, they should remain home from school unless they have received 24 hours of antibiotic treatment.


Fever, headache, and swollen glands in the neck. Children with mumps can return to school 9 days after the swelling begins.

Pink Eye

Redness and swelling of the membranes of the eye with burning or itching, matter coming from one or both eyes, or crusts on the eyelids. Your child should remain home from school until receiving 24 hours of antibiotic therapy and discharge from the eyes has stopped.


The signs of ringworm are scaly patches on the head or body. They are sometimes itchy. The child can return to school if the ringworm can be covered and is being treated with an anti-fungal medicine.


The signs of scabies are a fine scab-like rash, which is very itchy especially at night. The child can return to school after they use the treatment prescribed by the physician.


Painful cluster of blisters on the face or trunk. Your child can come to school if clothing covers the lesions/blisters/sores.

Strep Throat

Your child should remain home from school until they have been treated with antibiotics for 24 hours and they have been without fever or vomiting for 24 hours.


Your child may return to school after vomiting has subsided for a full 24 hours. If your child vomits during the night, they should not be at school the following day. If vomiting persists more than one day, your child could become dehydrated and you need to seek medical care.

Whooping Cough

Your child may return to school after completing 5 days of antibiotics.