Roach Middle School

Should My Child Go to School Today?


This information was adapted from an article on WebMD, written by Dr. Steven Parker, MD., and incorporates FISD 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.  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.  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”.

The following guide was adapted from Dr. Steven Parker, MD, director, division of behavioral and developmental pediatrics, Boston Medical Center; associate professor, pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine.  Symptom by symptom, here are Dr. Parker's guidelines to help you decide whether your child should stay home from school:

If your child's temperature is 100.0 degrees or higher, they have to stay at home. 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’s temperature MUST be under 100.0 for a full 24 hours (without medicine like Tylenol or Motrin) before returning to school.  This is FISD Policy.

If there's no fever, and the child feels fairly good, school is fine.

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!

Keep your child home until the illness is over, and for 24 hours after the last episode (without medicine).  Frisco ISD Policy states you child must be able to keep down 2 solid (regular food, not just crackers and Sprite/Gatorade) meals without vomiting, diarrhea, or fever before returning to school.

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. This is FISD Policy.  If they still have a fever, they must stay home.  This is also FISD Policy.  See “Fever” information above.

The child needs to see a doctor.

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 FISD Policy.

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 FISD Policy.

Please call the nurse at (469) 633-5008 if you discover that your child has lice.  You will need to treat your child for lice before they can return to school.  You must come to the school nurse’s office with your child so that the nurse can assure that your child no longer has live lice on their head before your child will be permitted to return to class.  The nurse also has a form for you to sign before your child returns to class.  This is FISD Policy.