School Logo

How long to keep your child off school for

How long to keep your child off school if they are unwell


Information adapted from Public Health Guidance on Infection Control in Schools


Diarrhoea and vomiting – 48 hours AFTER last episode


Flu – until recovered


Chickenpox – 5 days after onset of rash as long as vesicles have crusted over


German measles/measles – 4 days from onset of rash


Whooping cough – 48 hours from commencing antibiotic treatment, or 21 days from onset of illness if no antibiotic treatment


COVID-19 – stay at home for 3 days after testing positive/when symptoms started


Impetigo – until lesions are crusted and healed, or 48 hours after commencing antibiotic treatment


Scarlet fever – can return 24 hours after commencing appropriate antibiotic treatment


Shingles – keep at home only if rash is weeping and cannot be covered


Hand, foot and mouth – no need to keep off school if well enough, but please inform school


Mumps – 5 days after onset of swelling


Head lice – treatment is recommended and please inform school


Slapped cheek – school must be informed due to serious risk of vulnerable children and pregnant women


Diphtheria – exclusion is essential


Ringworm – treatment required


Scabies – child can return after first treatment