The following guidelines are standard in most Illinois schools and child-care facilities.
Your child should not be brought to school or day care if he has any of the following:
- Temperature of 100 or over within the past 24 hrs.
- Vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hrs.
- A sore or discharging eye or ear. Pink eye is highly contagious.
- An undiagnosed rash.
- Strep throat or any disease requiring antibiotics, unless the child has been on the antibiotics for at least 24 hrs.
- Runny nose, sore throat, severe cough.
- Ringworm, or scabies.
- Chicken pox – may not return until all pox are scabbed over and dry.
If a teacher calls you to inform you that your child is sick, please remember that she does not wish to disturb you or cause you inconvenience. She is following policies that are necessary to protect your child, the other children, and the teachers.
**Your child must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.
**If your child is sick and will not be able to come to school for two days or more, please call and inform us.
If you are in doubt about whether or not your child is sick, please err on the side of caution and keep your child at home.
“Where Does It Hurt?”
You’ve just finished hurriedly getting dressed. Your briefcase, your child’s backpack and lunch are by the door. The hands on the clock seem to be moving faster than usual. Time to go. Then you notice your child has not eaten his breakfast and has been quieter than usual. He looks up at you with appealing eyes and says, “I don’t feel good.” Every parent has heard those awful words. Is your child really sick or just want attention? Should you stay home from work? Will your pay be docked? Will you miss an important meeting? Maybe in an hour your child will feel better. Maybe he’s just tired. Maybe he’s really sick and is going to get a lot worse. Maybe. The clock is hurrying on. What to do?
Our teachers understand these difficult situations. We have faced the same kind of thing at school. Is this child sick? How sick? Should he be immediately isolated from the other children? Should he be encouraged to eat his lunch or not eat? Should we wait an hour and see what develops? Should we ask his parents to pick him up right away? Rarely are child care centers able to care for sick children, which often has special licensing requirements including an isolated bedroom with a trained person in attendance. The cost and liability usually make this prohibitive. We are very sympathetic to parents of a sick child.
Unless you have a nearby relative who is willing to help out, or you have a job you can miss without negative consequences, the problem has no easy solution. However, the parent MUST have a plan in place BEFORE the need arises. If a parent has no plan for caring for a sick child, the temptation is very great to take a sick child to school or child care. This is a very bad choice indeed. It is not fair to the sick child, to the other children at school, or to the teachers. We take many precautions to protect our children and teachers from contagious illnesses, including disinfecting many surfaces frequently and having strict hand-washing practices. Please protect your child and all our other children and teachers by observing the “Sick Child Guidelines,” which are listed above.