Should my child go to school/nursery today?
The rules may vary during the COVID-19 outbreak.
It can be tricky deciding whether or not to keep your child off school, nursery or playgroup when they're unwell. Our guidance below will help you to make that choice based on NHS advice.
- Children should be given paracetamol, plenty of fluids to drink and can be sent to school.
- If your child is asthmatic, remember they may need their blue inhaler more often.
For more information go to Cough and Cold.
Children should go back to school when recovered - this is usually about five days.
Not sure if your child is experiencing Flu? You can find a comparison of the symptoms of flu and a cold here Flu - NHS (www.nhs.uk) in the tab 'Telling the difference between cold and flu'
For more infomation go to High Temperature/Fever.
Find out more about the Flu Vaccine for Children.
- Give paracetamol and plenty to drink.
- Keep your child off school until their fever goes away
- If the child's high temperature continues for five days or more, seek advice.
For more information go to High Temperature/Fever.
- Children can return to school 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting.
For more information go to Diarrhoea and Vomiting.
- Children should go back to school four days after the rash has started.
For more information go to Measles.
- Cases of chicken pox are generally infectious from 2 days before the rash appears to 5 days after the onset of the rash.
- Although the usual exclusion period is 5 days, all lesions should be crusted over before children return to nursery or school.
For more information go to Chickenpox.
- Children should go back to school four days after the rash has started. Please let the school know, as pregnant members of staff may be affected.
For more information go to German Measles (Rubella).
Note: Measles, Mumps and German Measles (Rubella) (MMR) is a notifiable disease.
- Children should go back to school five days from the start of swollen glands.
For more information go to Mumps.
- Children should go back to school 24 hours after starting appropriate antibiotic treatment.
For more information go to Scarlet Fever
- Children should go back to school five days after starting antibiotics. Non-infectious coughing may continue for many weeks.
For more information go to Whooping Cough.
- Children can go to school.
- They should be encouraged to wash their hands to prevent further spread of infection.
For more information go to Conjunctivitis.
- Children can go to school.
- Verrucae should be covered in swimming pools and changing rooms.
For more information go to Hand, foot and mouth, Warts and Verrucae, Athletes Foot, Molluscum Contagiosum.
- Children with headache, earache or stomach ache can go to school - just let the staff know they have felt unwell.
- Give paracetamol and plenty of fluids to drink.
- If headache, earache or stomach ache persist... seek advice.
For more information go to Earache and/or Tummy Ache.
- Children can go to school with head lice but they must be treated for the condition to prevent further spreading.
- Parents should treat their children and other family members by wet combing with a nit comb and conditioner.
- Children can go back to school when their lesions are crusted or healed, or two days after starting antibiotics.
For more information go to Impetigo.
- Exclude only if the rash is weeping and cannot be covered.
- Children should be given paracetamol, plenty of fluids to drink and be sent to school.
For more information go to Sore Throat.
- Children can go to school when they have started their treatment.
- Everyone at home should be treated.
Medicines in school
- Children can come to school even if they are taking medicines, as staff are able to give them prescribed medicine in school.
- Please make sure the bottle has a pharmacy label detailing your child's name, dosage and how frequently they should have it.
- Please discuss with the headteacher.
School nurse drop-in session
- Your school nurse is available to meet with you in school. Please ask reception for the school nurse's contact details.
- You can also contact NHS 111.
- Local pharmacy - see your local pharmacist for help and advice. In some areas there is a new minor ailment service available (check with your GP for details) called Pharmacy First. If your child has certain minor ailments or conditions you may be eligible for the 'Pharmacy First' service which enables those who get free prescriptions to go straight to their pharmacist for a consultation, instead of going to their GP for a prescription.
- Caution needs to be taken with children who are more susceptible to severe infection due to an underlying long term medical condition or being immunocompromised. These children are more likely to require medical review when unwell and are less likely to be able to attend school/nursery.
If your child's school or nursery says that they are unable to give any medication without a prescription, this is incorrect. Over the counter medications, such as hay fever treatment or simple pain relief may be given as long as dosing instructions are clearly written on the medication. Your pharmacist will label your medication appropriately if you ask them to. Please do not make a GP appointment to obtain over the counter medications with a prescription, you will be advised to get this from the pharmacy directly.
Information in this guide is taken from the Public Health England guidelines “Health protection in schools and other childcare facilities: A practical guide for staff on managing cases of infectious diseases in schools and other childcare settings.
For more information, click here.