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Rockwood School District

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How Sick is too Sick for School?

A person reading a digital thermometer

When your child says "I don't feel well," it can cause some concern and can certainly throw a wrench into your plans for the day. Although we are no longer monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms, many of those same symptoms are still good reasons to keep your child home from school. We have always asked that students with a fever (temperature of 100.0+ degrees), vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours remain at home until they are symptom-free for 24 full hours without the use of medication to alleviate the symptoms. Any unknown rashes are also a reason to stay home and consult your physician.

But what about sniffles, or a cough or sore throat? You know your child best, so use your judgment. Please be aware that giving your child acetaminophen or cold medication and sending them to school is generally not in the best interest of your child or those around them. Such students often end up visiting the school nurse when that medication wanes. We recommend that you keep your child home for a day to see if the symptoms improve or become worse. If they worsen, it's a good time to call their primary health care provider for advice. If by mid-morning they are acting fine and feeling well without the use of medication, please consider bringing them to school, if you'd like!

As you've likely heard, the nation is seeing an early influenza season, a surge in RSV, and of course, other run-of-the-mill childhood respiratory viruses, and the St. Louis area is no exception. We want to take as many precautions as possible to help ensure the health of our students and staff members. As the holidays grow close, many of us will be interacting with extended families, including the very young and the elderly, both of whom are at higher risk for severe respiratory illness.

Parent testing their child's forehead for a fever

Please keep your child home—and staff members, stay home—if you have any of the following:

  • fever
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • persistent cough
  • body aches
  • generally feeling unwell
  • severe sore throat

The best way for us all to remain well is for those who are ill to remain at home, and by practicing frequent and thorough handwashing. We appreciate your partnership in doing all we can to keep our staff and students safe and healthy through this cold and flu season.