Day Care/School Exclusion Criteria

When can my child return?  Is it contagious?

Should I cancel the

a) play date

b) birthday party or

c) family visit?

Exclusion criteria have been practiced for decades and there is a great deal of practical evidence that they are ineffective. (We docs are still in business). Before blaming your best friend for bringing their child into contact with your own, remember – The period of highest infectivity (most contagious) is usually BEFORE THE CHILD HAS ANY SYMPTOMS!  Therefore, you must be clairvoyant to stop the spread of disease.

That said, there are some good medical tenants to REDUCE, not eliminate spread of disease.

Disease or symptom: May return when:
Strep throat 24 hours after starting antibiotics
Chickenpox After the last lesion has crusted over
Pink eye 24 hours after starting antibiotics*
Diarrhea (viral/not bloody) When it is contained within the diaper
Pneumonia 24 hours after starting antibiotics
Fever 12-24 hours after temperature resolves if clinically better (acting well)
Runny Nose No exclusion criteria(our schools would be empty)
Cough See above
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease 24 hours after fever resolves
Impetigo 24 hours after antibiotics started
Lice After the first treatment with an effective pediculicide  (Elimite, Permethrin)
Pinworms Only restrict if accompanied by diarrhea
Ring worm After treatment is started or lesion are covered

* unless caused by allergies – itchy with clear discharge

These are guidelines only and individual schools and institutions may have different restrictions. Consult your school handbooks for guidance.