• Guidelines for When to Keep Your Child Home from School

    The protocol for management of communicable disease in Worthington City Schools is based upon the Ohio Department of Health’s guidelines and recommendations.

    Your child is too ill to go to school if he or she has any of the following symptoms:
    • Temperature above 100.4 F by mouth (see below)
    • Vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hours (see below)
    • Shortness of breath or has increase in wheezing during normal activity
    • Has a cough that interrupts normal activity Pain from an earache, headache, sore throat or recent injury.
    • Has yellow or green drainage from nose or eye(s)
    • Rash over body or localized to one area of the body (see below)
    • Fatigue and needs bed rest (common with flu-like symptoms)
    • Signs of conjunctivitis such as red, crusty or swollen eyes (see below)

    Students who are sent home with a fever 100.4 degrees or higher must remain at home until the student is fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication. In most cases this means that students will miss the following school day. Please understand that fevers can reoccur within a 24 hour time period and this policy is in the best interest for all students.   

    Students who are sent home due to vomiting or diarrhea must also stay home for 24 hours to ensure that these symptoms are gone before returning to school. 

    Students exhibiting signs of conjunctivitis (crusty eyes, red or swollen eyes) may return once the symptoms have been treated and are gone or a note is presented from a doctor stating that the student may return to school.

    Students who show signs of a communicable disease exhibiting as a rash may return to school once the rash is gone or a note is presented from a doctor stating that the student may return to school.


    Attendance is a must for your child to be successful in school. If your child’s absence requires a doctor’s visit, please turn in the medical excuse to your child’s school upon returning.

    Cold vs. Flu
    The only way to stop the spread of the blue is to spread the awareness.
    Symptom   Cold H1N1 Flu
    Fever Fever is rare with a cold Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100.4°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu
    Coughing A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold. A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).
    Aches Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold. Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.
    Stuffy Nose Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.
    Chills Chills are uncommon with a cold. 60% of people who have the flu experience chills.
    Tiredness Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold. Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.
    Sneezing Sneezing is commonly present with a cold. Sneezing is not common with the flu.
    Sudden Symptoms Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days. The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.
    Headache A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold. A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.
    Sore Throat Sore throat is commonly present with a cold. Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.
    Chest Discomfort Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
    Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

    Communicable Disease in the School Setting

    Chicken pox: skin rash that progresses to blister then scabs. The child may or
    may not have a fever. New eruptions may occur for 4-5 days. Children
    usually start to feel better once they stop getting new bumps

    Children are excluded from school until all the sores are crusted over, usually
    6-7 days.

    Common cold: sore throat, watery discharge from nose an eyes, sneezing,
    fever, and generalized discomfort

    Children are excluded from school if fever of over 100 F or feeling too ill to
    participate in school activities.

    Conjunctivitis (Bacterial pink eye): redness of eye or eyelid, thick and
    purulent (pus) discharge, matted eyelashes, burning, itching and eye pain

    Children are excluded until 24 hours of antibiotic treatment.

    Diarrhea: several loose stools with increased water content in a 24 hour

    Children are excluded until 24 hours after diarrhea stops or is determined
    non-communicable by physician.

    Fifth Disease: bright red rash usually beginning on face appears as a
    “slapped face”. Spreads to trunk and extremities and appears as a lacy rash.
    Generally clears in a week

    Children are excluded only if they have a fever or feel ill, otherwise exclusion
    is not necessary.

    Influenza: abrupt onset of fever, chills, headache, sore muscles, runny nose,
    sore throat and cough

    Children are excluded if they have a fever over 100 F or feel ill.

    Ringworm: flat, scaly, ring like rash, may itch or burn

    Children are excluded until 24 hours of appropriate treatment completed.

    Scarlet fever/Strep Throat: fever, red throat with pus spots. May have
    tender and swollen lymph nodes. Scarlet fever- all of the previous with
    sandpaper like rash on skin

    Children are excluded until 24 hours of antibiotic treatment is completed.

    Whooping Cough (pertussis): Begins with mild upper respiratory
    symptoms which progress to abnormally severe coughing often with a
    characteristic whoop. Whooping sound may be absent in older children and
    adults. Coughing may progress to vomiting

    Children are excluded for 5 days as they complete antibiotic treatment.

    Impetigo: highly contagious skin infection with red sores that rupture, ooze and form a yellowish-brown crust 

    Children are excluded until 24 hours of antibiotic treatment or all sores are dry.

    Scabies: parasitic skin infection caused by a mite that tunnels under the skin causing a pimple-like extremely itchy rash which tends to be worse at night.

    Children are excluded until they have received 24 hours of prescribed treatment.

    Pneumonia: an upper respiratory tract infection with fever, cough, malaise and headache 

    Children are excluded until they have received 24 hours of antibiotic treatment and they are fever-free without the use of fever reducing medication.

    Measles: starts with a high fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose and red watery eyes followed by tiny white spots inside the mouth and a rash that may become joined together as it spreads from the head to the rest fo the body. Measles can be prevented by a vaccine.

    Children are excluded for 4 days following the onset of the rash.



    Columbus Health Department: http://publichealth.columbus.gov

    Franklin County Health Department: http://www.myfcph.org/

    Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov

    American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www.aap.org