Information about childhood illnesses

How to keep your children healthy

  • Teach children to wash hands often with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds (that’s about as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice).
  •  Teach children the proper way to use hand sanitizer. Gels, rubs and hand wipes all work well, as long as they contain at least 60% alcohol.
  •  Teach children to keep their hands away from their face and avoid touching their mouth, nose or eyes.
  •  Teach children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues, or to cough and sneeze into their sleeves – not their hand

When to keep your child home from school

The Orange County Department of Health and the New York State School Health Service, states that a child should not be sent to school if any of these symptoms are present:

  • Fever in the past 24 hours
  • Vomiting in the past 24 hours
  • Diarrhea in the past 24 hours
  • Chills
  • Strep Throat (must have been taking an antibiotic for at least 24 hours before returning to school)
  • Bad cold, with a very runny nose or bad cough, especially if it has kept the child awake at night

It is essential that the school have a phone number where a parent/guardian can be contacted during the day and an emergency number in the event the parent or guardian cannot be reached. Contact the Nurse’s Office with any questions or concerns.

Guide for common childhood illnesses


Symptoms: Fever of 100 degrees or more
Return to school criteria: Fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Symptoms: Fever, sores in mouth, on hands or feet
Return to school criteria: When lesions (sores) heal

Head Lice

Symptoms: Itching, small red bumps on scalp, lice or eggs (nits) found in hair
Return to school criteria: After appropriate treatment begins


Symptoms: Cough, chills, fever and headache
Return to school criteria: Fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication

MRSA (Staph Infection)

Symptoms: Skin infection that looks like pimples or boils. May be red, swollen or pus-filled
Return to school criteria: Evaluated by provider, skin kept covered and excluded from contact sports

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Symptoms: Persistent cough or short convulsive-like cough
Return to school criteria: 5 days after physician-prescribed antibiotics started

Pink Eye (conjunctivitis)

Symptoms: Irritation of the eye, tears, swelling, buildup of sticky fluid and crusting
Return to school criteria: Eyes are mucus-free or on medication for 24 hours

Stomach “Bug”

Symptoms: Abrupt onset of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and discomfort
Return to school criteria: 24 hours symptom-free

Strep Throat

Symptoms: Sore throat, fatigue and fever
Return to school criteria: 24 hours after antibiotics started