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School Nurse

School Nurse

Should I keep my child home or send him/her to school?

Do not send your child to school if any of the following symptoms or conditions were present in the last 24 hours. You may be asked to take your child home if your child:

  • Has a fever of 100 degrees or higher. Your child may return to school when the temperature has been normal (98.6) for 24 hours.
  • Has been vomiting and/or diarrhea. If your child has two or more episodes during the previous evening or night they may not attend school. Call your child’s doctor if symptoms continue for more than 48 hours, your child has a fever or his/her condition worsens.
  • Has a rash. All rashes must be diagnosed and/or treated by a physician for your child to remain in school.
  • Has bacterial infection. Your child may return to school after taking prescribed antibiotics for 24 hours.
  • Has pink eye. If your child has thick mucus or pus draining from the eye (pink eye) he/she can attend school after medical assessment/treatment. If an antibiotic is prescribed, the child must be on the medication for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Has live lice. Please check with your school health clinic about the school district lice policy.
  • Has symptoms that prevent him or her from participating in school, such as:
    • Excessive tiredness
    • pale
    • difficult to wake
    • confused or irritable
    • lack of appetite
    • Productive coughing
    • sneezing
    • Continuous coughing
    • Headache
    • body aches
    • earache
    • Sore throat

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 upset stomach. Contact your pediatrician as your child needs a special test to determine if it is strep throat.

Keep your child home until his or her fever has been gone for 24 hours without medication. Colds can be contagious for at least 48 hours. Returning to school too soon may slow the recovery process and expose others unnecessarily to illness.

If you are unsure about whether or not to send your child to school, please contact the school nurse with any questions you may have.

Thank you for helping to keep our school healthy!

Susan C. Baldwin RN BSN
District RN; Rootstown Local Schools


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created dietary guidelines to provide advice on how to give kids a healthy, well-balanced diet. The guidelines advise that kids eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains than in the past. The “Choose My Plate” initiative was devised as a food guidance system to ensure that American’s are eating the proper amount of each food group.

Tips for Creating Healthy Eaters
  • Eat a good breakfast. Kids who eat breakfast tend to do better in school and have fewer issues with their weight.
  • Stock a “treat drawer” or bin in the refrigerator with healthy snacks such as yogurt, carrot sticks, pretzels, cheese, whole-grain crackers and nuts. If healthy snacks are readily available, kids will be more likely to choose them over junk food.
  • Allow dessert. Try to choose sweet treats that also pack a nutritional punch like fruit, frozen yogurt and graham crackers, but try to limit to 2 to 3 times a week instead of every day.
  • Good choices are available at fast food restaurants. Try select the regular size sandwich and choose whole grain buns, broiled meats, salads with low-fat dressing on the side, fruit parfaits, plain baked potatoes or soup.
  • Serve meals without distractions and eat dinner as a family at the table. Turn off TVs, cell phones, computer games and don’t answer the phone during dinner; this is family time.
  • Serve milk with meals so your child gets enough calcium and other important vitamins and minerals. Limit juice intake; too much juice may make your child feel full and not hungry for the nutrient-rich foods you are serving at meals.
  • Teach your child good eating habits by setting a good example yourself!


Asthma is a chronic (long-term) condition of the airways in the lungs. It is not contagious, but it does tend to run in families. Asthma is the most common chronic childhood illness in the U.S. Affecting about 7 million children nationwide, it is the number one cause of school absenteeism.

However, with effective preventive medication and self-care techniques such as a written asthma action plan, symptoms can be controlled to let children with asthma lead normal lives. Health care professionals can work together with children and their families to develop an appropriate treatment plan so kids can stay healthy and active and be absent from school less often.