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Mechanicsburg Area School District

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Is my child too sick for school?

Guidelines for Keeping Sick Children Home from School

A sick child cannot learn effectively and is unable to participate in classes in a meaningful way. Keeping a sick child home allows the child the opportunity to rest and recover as well as prevents the spread of illness in the school community.  If your child is exhibiting any of the following, he/she should stay home from school:



Students should stay home for a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater. The student can return to school after he/she has been fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication such as Tylenol or Motrin. Therefore, if a student is sent home from school with a fever, they may not return the next day.



A child with vomiting/diarrhea should stay home and return to school only after being symptom free for 24 hours.


Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

A student with a red or pink eye specifically involving the white of the eye (the sclera) may represent infectious conjunctivitis and should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.  If a child is suspected of having infectious conjunctivitis and has been evaluated by a healthcare provider who has determined no antibiotic treatment is needed, the student is permitted to return to school.  If antibiotic treatment is recommended, the child may return to school as authorized by the healthcare provider.



Common infectious diseases with rashes are most contagious in the early stages. A child with a suspicious rash should return to school only after a health care provider has made a diagnosis and authorized return to school.



Elementary children with thick or constant nasal drainage should remain home. Very few school age children effectively blow their noses and wash their hands afterward. A child with the above symptoms will quickly spread the illness to other children.


The MASD Health Services Department adheres to guidelines written by the PA Department of Health, American Academy of Pediatrics and Center for Disease Control in accordance with Pennsylvania state law and MASD policies.

Picking Kids Up From School
When a nurse sends a student home from school due to illness, we respectfully request that you pick your child up within 30 minutes.  We appreciate your attentiveness to this request out of respect to your own child as well as those being assisted in the nurses' office.
If the nurse is uncomfortable sending your child home on the school bus due to illness or injury, you will be requested to make arrangements to retrieve your child.