Illness & Absence FAQs

The below information has been taken from the Public Health ‘Guidance on Infection Control in Schools’ document.

Diarrhoea and vomiting illness Recommended period to be kept away from school Comments
Diarrhoea and/or vomiting 48 hours from last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting Even if you suspect it is food poisoning, please keep your child off from school for 48 hours.
E. coli O157 VTEC

 

Typhoid [and paratyphoid] (enteric fever)

 

Shigella (dysentery)

Should be excluded for 48 hours from the last episode of diarrhoea

 

Further exclusion may be required for some children until they are no longer excreting

Further exclusion is required for young children under five and those who have difficulty in adhering to hygiene practices. Children in these categories should be excluded until there is evidence of microbiological clearance. This guidance may also apply to some contacts of cases who may require microbiological clearance. Please inform the school so we can check with the Public Health Team.
Cryptosporidiosis Exclude for 48 hours from the last episode of diarrhoea Exclusion from swimming is advisable for two weeks after the diarrhoea has settled.

 

Rashes and skin infections Recommended period to be kept away from school Comments
Athlete’s foot None Athlete’s foot is not a serious condition. Treatment is recommended though.
Chickenpox Until all vesicles have crusted over Please inform the school so we can make pregnant staff members aware and other parents.
Cold sores, (Herpes simplex) None Avoid kissing and contact with the sores. Cold sores are generally mild and self-limiting.
German measles (rubella) Four days from onset of rash (as per “Green Book”) Preventable by immunisation (MMR x 2 doses). Please inform the school so we can make pregnant staff members aware and other parents.
Hand, foot and mouth None Please inform the school so we can monitor the amount of cases and let Public Health know.
Impetigo Until lesions are crusted and healed, or 48 hours after commencing antibiotic treatment Antibiotic treatment speeds healing and reduces the infectious period.
Measles Four days from onset of rash Preventable by vaccination (MMR x 2). Please inform the school so we can make pregnant staff members aware and other parents.
Molluscum contagiosum None A self-limiting condition.
Ringworm Exclusion not usually required Treatment is required.
Roseola (infantum) None None
Scabies Child can return after first treatment Household and close contacts require treatment.
Scarlet fever Child can return 24 hours after commencing appropriate antibiotic treatment Antibiotic treatment recommended for the affected child. Please inform the school so we can monitor the amount of cases and let Public Health know.
Slapped cheek (fifth disease or parvovirus B19) None once rash has developed Please inform the school so we can make pregnant staff members aware and other parents.
Shingles Exclude only if rash is weeping and cannot be covered Can cause chickenpox in those who are not immune i.e. have not had chickenpox. It is spread by very close contact and touch. Please inform the school so we can make pregnant staff members aware and other parents.
Warts and verrucae None Verrucae should be covered in swimming pools, gymnasiums and changing room.

 

Respiratory infections Recommended period to be kept away from school Comments
Flu (influenza) Until recovered None
Tuberculosis Inform the school as soon as possible so we can consult with the Public Health Team Requires prolonged close contact for spread.
Whooping cough (pertussis) 48 hours from commencing antibiotic treatment, or 21 days from onset of illness if no antibiotic treatment Preventable by vaccination. After treatment, non-infectious coughing may continue for many weeks. Contact the school so we can inform the Public Health Team and they will organise any contact tracing necessary.

 

Other infections Recommended period to be kept away from school Comments
Conjunctivitis None Please inform the school so we can monitor the amount of cases and let Public Health know.
Diphtheria Exclusion is essential. Always inform the school so we can consult with Public Health Family contacts must be excluded until cleared to return by the Public Health Team. Preventable by vaccination. The Public Health Team will organise any contact tracing necessary.
Glandular fever None None
Head lice None Treatment is recommended only in cases where live lice have been seen.
Hepatitis A Exclude until seven days after onset of jaundice (or seven days after symptom onset if no jaundice) Please inform the school. The Public Health Team will advise on any vaccination or other control measure that are needed for close contacts of a single case of hepatitis A and for suspected outbreaks.
Hepatitis B, C, HIV/AIDS None Hepatitis B and C and HIV are bloodborne viruses that are not infectious through casual contact. Please inform the school.
meningitis/ septicaemia Until recovered Some forms of meningococcal disease are preventable by vaccination. There is no reason to exclude siblings or other close contacts of a case. In case of an outbreak, it may be necessary to provide antibiotics with or without meningococcal vaccination to close contacts. Please inform the school so the Public Health Team can advise on any action needed.
Meningitis due to other bacteria Until recovered Hib and pneumococcal meningitis are preventable by vaccination. There is no reason to exclude siblings or other close contacts of a case. Please inform the school so the Public Health Team can advise on any action needed.
Meningitis viral None Milder illness. There is no reason to exclude siblings and other close contacts of a case. Contact tracing is not required.
MRSA None Good hygiene, in particular handwashing and environmental cleaning, are important to minimise any danger of spread.
Mumps Exclude child for five days after onset of swelling Preventable by vaccination (MMR x 2 doses).
Threadworms None Treatment is recommended for the child and household contacts.
Tonsillitis None There are many causes, but most cases are due to viruses and do not need an antibiotics.