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Child Care: When to Keep Your Child at Home

Topic Overview

Your child should not attend child care if he or she is too ill to participate in the regular program activities or requires more care than staff members are able to provide. Talk to your doctor before allowing your child who has been ill to attend group care. Get assurance that the condition is not contagious or serious.

Keep your child at home and find out what the doctor says about your child's illness if:1

  • Your child has:
    • Fever, irritability, lack of energy, trouble breathing, persistent crying, rash with fever or behavioral change, or other signs of severe illness.
    • Diarrhea that goes outside of the diaper.
    • Stools that contain blood or mucus.
    • Belly pain for 2 or more hours.
    • Mouth sores (until they are crusted and dry).
  • Your child has been vomiting two or more times within the past 24 hours (unless it is from a noncontagious disease and the child is not at risk for dehydration).

References

Citations

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Children in out-of-home child care. In LK Pickering et al., eds., Red Book: 2009 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases, 28th ed., pp. 124–140. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Last Revised October 9, 2013

Last Revised: October 9, 2013

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