When Should My Child Stay Home?
When do I keep my child home from school?
When your child is ill, he/she exposes other students and staff when he/she comes to school sick. If your child has any of the symptoms below, please keep him/her at home until the symptoms subside. These are the same guidelines that the school nurse uses to evaluate students who may need to go home:
◦ FEVER of at least 100º F using a digital thermometer accompanied by one or more of the following:
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Inability to contain secretions (unable to cough or sneeze into elbow or mask)
- Signs of irritability or confusion
- Sore throat
- Fatigue that limits participation in daily activities
◦ FEVER over 104º F
◦ VOMITING: 2 or more occasions within the past 2 hours
◦ DIARRHEA: 3 or more watery stools within the past 24 hours or any bloody stool
◦ SHORTNESS OF BREATH
◦ RASH (especially with fever or itching)
◦ EYE DISCHARGE OR CONJUNCTIVITIS (PINKEYE): until clear or until 24 hours of antibiotic treatment
◦ SICK APPEARANCE, NOT FEELING WELL, AND/OR NOT ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
◦ OPEN OR OOZING SORES, unless properly covered and 24 hours has passed since starting antibiotic treatment, if antibiotic treatment is necessary.
Students should be fever-free without fever reducing medication and no vomiting/diarrhea for 72 hours before returning to school. If they have had a negative coronavirus test, they may return to school 24 hours after symptoms and fever have subsided.
It is not unusual for students to feel better in the morning and then worse as the day goes along. The school is not equipped for prolonged care of your sick child. We request that you or an emergency contact pick up your sick child within the hour that you are called. It is important for the school to have a list of local emergency contacts that are available to pick up your child in the event that we are not able to reach you. Please notify the school if there are changes to your contacts.
What if my student becomes ill at school?
We are very fortunate at Highland Terrace to have a licensed RN in the building every day. The only exception will be if no nurse substitute is available when the nurse is out of the building.
The student handbook instructs students to ask their teacher for a pass to come to the Health Office during class time if they are feeling ill. Students are NOT to use their cell phone to call/text a parent unless they are in the Health Office and have checked in with the nurse. Use of cell phones during school hours is prohibited per the Student Handbook. If your student uses their personal cell phone to call you to let you know they are ill, please first ask them if they are in the health office. If they are not in the health office, please ask them to go there to check in and then call you back. I never refuse to allow a student to use my phone to call a parent. Having your student check in at the health office allows me to touch base with them and see how they are doing. It also helps me keep track of health trends in the general school population.
Once a student arrives, I assess them by discussing symptoms, measuring a temperature and other vital signs as indicated. If the student is not acutely ill, I will allow the them time to rest and see if their symptoms subside. If they don't feel better after resting, I will give the student 2 options: trying to go back to class or contacting you, the parent/guardian. At that point in time it will be up to you and your student to decide what to do. If your student is acutely ill I will call you and talk with you about my assessment and concerns. Please add the Highland Terrace Health Office phone number (206-393-4344) to your contact list on your phone. Many times parents do not answer because they don't recognize the number!
Contagious illness is always with us and can be spread in a variety of ways. We are trying to ensure that all of our students and staff stay as healthy as possible. Hand washing is the number one way to reduce spread of illness. We are reminding students to be diligent in washing their hands while at school. Getting enough sleep at night and good nutrition also play a role in staying healthy.
***We need everyone's cooperation, to be better able to provide a healthy learning environment for our students and staff members.***