Information on Childhood Illnesses

  • As school absences increase due to illness, Roanoke County Schools offers the following information to parents to assist in the appropriateness of keeping a child home from school.

    It is the belief of this school division that school attendance is essential but it is also important to take reasonable, appropriate measures to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.  Knowing when to send your child to school can sometimes be a difficult decision.  The Roanoke County School Division recognizes the pressures that families face as they balance work and other commitments with caring for their children.  In order to maintain a healthy environment, the school asks that families observe the following guidelines on returning after an illness.

    COLDS:  Students may continue to attend school with a cold. Students should not attend if they have a fever, excessive cough, or if they feel particularly ill.

    STREP THROAT:  If your child has strep throat, please keep them at home for 24 hours from the time the antibiotics are started.

    HEAD LICE:  If your child has lice, he/she must be treated before returning to school. Please notify the school nurse for assistance. Routinely check your child for signs of lice and nits. Lice are much easier to treat if discovered early.

    GASTROINTESTINAL ILLNESSES (vomiting and diarrhea):  If your child has been vomiting, please keep them home until your child is eating and drinking without vomiting for 24 hours. If your child has diarrhea, keep at home until stools are formed.

    PINK EYE:  If your child has pink eye (bacterial conjunctivitis), please keep at home for 24 hours after the first dose of medicine is administered and there is no drainage from the eye.  For viral conjunctivitis not being treated by eye drops, please keep your child home until eye discharge is resolved.

    ANY CHILDHOOD ILLNESS ACCOMPANIED BY A FEVER:  An oral or tympanic temperature of 100°F or higher is defined as a fever.  Please keep your child home until he/she is fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication.

    If your child has been treated by a physician for a particular illness, follow his/her instructions on appropriateness of returning to school.

    Experts agree that the best infection control is simply washing the hands with soap and water. You can also help your children stay healthy by teaching them the following:

    · Don’t share food or drinks

    · Don’t share clothing including hats

    · Don’t share hair care items such as combs, brushes and hair ties and ribbons

    · Wash hands frequently with soap and water

    · Cough or sneeze into the elbow area rather than hands

    · Avoid touching mouth, nose, or eyes with hands

    · Throw away used tissues

    · Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and eat a nutritional diet

    While we realize that the mentioned illnesses are not inclusive, they are the most common health related reasons for children’s absences from school. If you are unsure or have questions about whether your child is well enough to go the school, please contact your healthcare provider.