When should I keep my child home from daycare or school?

You should keep your child home from daycare or school if they are feeling unwell and are not able to participate in normal activities. Especially if they have a fever, diarrhea or vomiting.

It's recommended to keep your children home for at least 24 hours after a fever and diarrhea or vomiting has ended in order to prevent the infection from spreading to others.

Not all illnesses require a visit to the doctor. If you are not sure about your child’s health and if you should see a doctor, you can call Telehealth Ontario and speak with a Registered Nurse. The nurses with Telehealth will be able to tell you if it is a good idea to visit your child’s doctor

Some common illnesses and "critters" that your child may come in contact with, according to the Public Health Units in Ontario, are:

  • Chickenpox
  • Common Cold
  • Fifth Disease – Slapped Cheek
  • Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
  • Head Lice – Pediculosis 
  • Impetigo 
  • Measles
  • Mononucleosis – mono 
  • Mumps
  • Norwalk – Norovirus
  • Pertussis – Whooping Cough
  • Pink Eye – Conjunctivitis
  • Pinworms 
  • Ringworm 
  • Roseola
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella – German Measles
  • Scabies
  • Scarlet Fever
  • Strep Throat

How can I help my child from getting sick?

There are some things you can do to help your child from getting sick during the school year. Make sure your child:

  • Has all the recommended vaccinations.
  • Does not share their drinks or eating utensils with friends (even if they seem healthy).
  • Does not share hats, brushes or hair accessories with anyone.
  • Properly washes their hands before they eat and after they use the washroom.

Will my child need a doctor’s note to return to school?

For younger students, most schools will accept your decision to keep your child home due to illness. If the illness is longer than a few days, there may be a form sent home for you to fill out. Once your child is in middle school and high school, a medical certificate or note from a doctor may be required if they are absent during exams. It’s a good idea to know what your child’s school absence policy is at the start of the school year.

School Arrivals Policy

Ontario schools have a safe-arrival program. This is to make sure your child, especially young children, arrive at school safely. When your child is absent from school because they are sick or have an appointment, you must make sure that the school knows. Each school district may have a different procedure. You may either call into the school and report your child is absent or you may receive a call asking you to confirm that you know your child is out of class. This usually happens within an hour of the school day starting.

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Last updated: September 13, 2019 4006324