Children have a higher incidence of illness than adults do and children in group care settings get sick more frequently. When a child gets sick, it needs to be determined if the child is well enough to be at childcare or stay at home. We want children to maintain their regular childcare schedule as much as possible, but there are times when they need to be out if they are sick.  In some cases, it’s very obvious that a child needs to stay home. Maybe there is a fever, frequent vomiting or the illness is making it difficult for them to function. When severe symptoms are present, it a pretty obvious call to keep the child home. Milder symptoms can make it tougher to make the decision to keep the child at home. Things that should be considered are if the child can function to a reasonable degree- can they learn and have a comfortable day. Additionally, you want to follow the below exclusions.


A child with any of the following conditions or behaviors must be excluded:

  • reportable illness that has not had sufficient treatment to reduce the health risk to others
  • with chicken pox until the child is no longer infectious or until the lesions are crusted over
  • vomiting two or more times since admission that day
  • three or more abnormally loose stools since admission that day
  • contagious conjunctivitis or pus draining from the eye
  • bacterial infections who have not completed 24 hours of antibiotics
  • unexplained lethargy
  • lice, ringworm, or scabies that is untreated and contagious to others
  • 100 degree Fahrenheit axillary or higher temperature of undiagnosed origin before fever
    reducing medication is given
  • undiagnosed rash or a rash attributable to a contagious illness or condition
  • significant respiratory distress
  • not able to participate in child care program activities with reasonable comfort
  • requires more care than the program staff can provide without compromising the health
    and safety of other children in care.


Remember the most important way to reduce the risk of getting sick is to wash your hands!
Model good hand washing behaviors and teach children to wash their hands properly. Also,
consider getting a seasonal flu vaccination. The single best way to protect against the flu is to
get vaccinated each year!