Child Sickness Guidance for Parents & Carers - Minor Illness & Sickness

School contact details

Make sure that the school has your up to date contact details including your home, work and mobile telephone numbers as well as an emergency contact. It is important that the school is able to contact you during the day if necessary

Informing the school of minor illness

If your child is absent due to a minor illness you should contact the school first thing in the morning to inform them about the absence. You should always send a letter into school to confirm the reason for the absence

You need to tell the school if your child has a condition that needs hospital or surgical treatment; is returning to school with stitches or a plaster cast, or needs restricted PE lessons or playtime activities for a period of time

If your child is absent from school due to illness for 3 or more days or is often absent for short periods the school may want supporting evidence to confirm the reason for the absence. If your child is frequently ill the school nursing service may be asked to help

You need to tell the school if your child has a condition that needs hospital or surgical treatment; is returning to school with stitches or a plaster cast, or needs restricted PE lessons or playtime activities for a period of time

Think carefully before keeping your children off school for medical reasons. If they wake up saying they feel unwell you should consider if the symptoms warrant them staying home. Do not keep them off school “just in case” when they could be in class learning with their friends. Non-urgent medical appointments should be made outside of school time, whenever possible

Trafford CYPS, Schools and NHS Trafford work closely together to improve the health, wellbeing and education of children and young people throughout the authority

The main reason for absence from school is illness. Whilst many of these are for good reason there are some that could have been avoided with more care from parents and carers. Unless children are acutely ill they should attend school. To deal with this problem we need your help and support

In order to avoid preventable school absences, parents and carers need to think carefully about the minor illness presented to them before deciding to keep their child off school

Schools can often make arrangements, after medical advice, for pupils in school who have broken bones. They may be able to help with transport and help pupils be comfortable within the school

Parents sometimes keep their children off because they are on medication. In many cases, schools are able to help pupils take their medicine at school and avoid preventable absences

In some extreme illness cases, the school might be able to arrange for a tutor to teach a pupil at home. If you think your child needs this support you should speak to the Head Teacher at the school

Your child’s GP, practice nurse/ asthma nurse is able to give advice to help your child maintain good control of their asthma and help prevent asthma attacks. This will enable your child to have really good school attendance

If your child has head lice it should be treated immediately. They do not need to have any time off school as a result of head lice if they are treated

Children with eczema can attend school even when it is being treated. Pupils should only be off school if the doctor has advised it because it is so severe

A child or young person may attend school with a minor cough or cold. If your child’s cold seems to be getting worse instead of better, they have a temperature of 38ºC for 1 day or more, a sore throat that interferes with swallowing or are coughing up a lot of mucus, you may need to seek medical help

If the problem is a sore throat and there are no other symptoms then your child will be fit enough to attend school. It is only in severe cases, such as your child having a painful sore throat that interferes with swallowing there may be good reason to remain at home and seek medical help

When a child or young person is vomiting or has diarrhoea they need to be kept at home for 48hrs after the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting. If there is no improvement you should consult with your, local pharmacy, walk-in centre, doctor or NHS Direct

You can usually identify a raised temperature through your child looking or feeling shivery. There are a number of causes for a raised temperature and if symptoms persist you should contact NHS Direct for advice, visit a local walk-in centre or GP. The sooner your child is feeling better, the sooner he/she can return to school

The signs of a rash are often the first indicator of one of a number of children’s illnesses. The rash or spots may cover a part of, or the whole of, the body. Do not send your child to school with an unexplained rash until you have consulted your local pharmacy, walk-in centre, doctor or NHS Direct. For many illnesses, the child can return to school as soon as the incubation period is over, even though there may still be some visible spots

If your child has a headache, with no other symptoms, he/she is usually well enough to attend school and does not need to be kept at home. If they have toothache they may need to be seen by a dentist as soon as possible. If they have earache you should seek advice and if it does not clear consult your local pharmacy, walk in centre, doctor or NHS Direct. Whenever possible, medical appointments should be made outside of school hours

A healthy diet, regular exercise and ensuring medication is used as prescribed will help prevent high and low blood sugar levels. This will result in improved health and not missing school time. It is also important to attend regular checkup appointments, wherever possible arranged out of school time

Date of last review:
April 2021

Date of next review:
April 2024