Athens City Schools Illness Guidelines

  • School attendance is very important. We want your child at school everyday. However, illness is s part of life and often interfers with our plans. Please use these guidelines in determining if your child is too sick to attend school.


    Illness Guidelines

    FEVER: A student with a fever of 100 F or higher should not come to school. If a student comes to school with a fever of 100 F or higher, the student will be sent home.  If no one can be reached to pick up the student, and the fever is escalating, 911 may be called to transport the student for medical treatment. This will depend on the assessment by the school nurse based on the clinical symptoms of the student.  A student MUST be fever free for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications, such as Tylenol or Motrin) before returning to school.

    HEADACHE: Headaches can be caused by many things such as fever, stress, sinuses, viral illnesses, and dehydration.  Some headaches can be serious while others are minor. When a student has a headache that is associated with a fever and/or neck pain/stiffness or a headache that lasts for more than a couple of hours, the student should be seen by a health care provider. A mild headache can interfere with a student’s learning ability. When a student has a headache during school hours and the headache does not go away after 20-30 minutes, the student may be sent home.

    STREP THROAT: A student may return to school with evidence of physician diagnosis and a minimum of 24 hours on antibiotics.

    SORE THROAT: Sore throats are very common.  They can be caused by sinus drainage, mouth breathing, viruses (colds), bacteria (Strep), dehydration, and anything that can irritate tissue (such as food, hot liquids, etc..). When a student has a fever with a sore throat, the student should see a health care provider before returning to school. A student who has a sore throat with a fever of 100 degrees or more will be sent home. A student with a non-fever sore throat can be soothed by drinking cool (not hot) fluids, and identifying and treating the underlying cause (colds, sinus drainage, etc..).

    VOMITING: When a student has been vomiting, the student should not come to school until they have NOT been vomiting for 24 hours. Note: Nurses will use their judgement when requesting students to be sent home from school for vomiting. Example: If a student gets too hot in P.E., they probably do not need to be sent home and do not need to stay out of school the next day. 

    DIARRHEA: Certain forms of diarrhea can be contagious. Your child should stay home if he/she has had diarrhea (two times or more) prior to the start of the school day. Children with diarrhea at school will be sent home and should not return to school until no diarrhea for 24 hours. 

    ABDOMINAL PAIN: Any form of abdominal pain in a child should be taken seriously. Many things cause abdominal pain. A student who complains of abdominal pain should not come to school until the problem has been identified. Any student with abdominal pain that lasts longer than 15-30 minutes may be sent home and should be seen by a health care provider. 

    COUGH: A cough that is chronic can spread germs and be disruptive in a classroom. Please take this into consideration when deciding to send a student to school. The school nurse may evaluate a student with a cough and if determined to be excessive may be sent home. If a student brings cough drops or cough medicine to school, the student must have a Prescriber/Parent Authorization Form (PPA) completed by a parent or guardian. 

    PINK EYE (Conjunctivitis): Pink eye can be very contagious. If the white of your child’s eye is red and has a thick yellow or greenish colored drainage, you should keep your child at home until treated. Student may return to school after a minimum of 24 hours on treatment.

    IMPETIGO: Student may return to school with evidence of physician diagnosis and a minimum of 24 hours of antibiotic treatment. Lesions must be covered when the student returns to school. 

    RINGWORM: Student must be treated with proper medication for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to school and lesions must be covered when student returns to school. 

    HAND, FOOT, & MOUTH DISEASE:  Student may return to school with physician’s diagnosis and excuse and must be fever free for 24 hours before returning. 

    RASH: There are all types of rashes. Some are nothing more than irritated skin, while others are very contagious. The guidelines include: 

    • Either clothing or a bandage MUST cover all rashes.
    • A student with an undiagnosed rash lasting more than 2 days may be required to have a medical doctor’s note in order to return to school.
    • A student with a scalp rash may be required to have a medical doctor’s note in order to return to school. 
    • A medical doctor should evaluate a student with a rash that is associated with a fever and/or cough.
    • A medical doctor should evaluate a student with spotted rashes on the stomach, back, arms, or legs.

    Last Updated 10/2020