Health Matters

Questions and answers for parents and carers.


How long should I keep my child off school after they have been ill? If your child has been ill, there is often conflicting advice on the amount of time they should be absent from school, depending on the doctor they see. To make things easier for you we have asked the Health Authority for guidance and have set out below advice about the most common illnesses and infections.

Chicken Pox: Infectious. Children should stay at home for 5 days from onset of rash.

Threadworms: Very infectious. Children should not be in school until the problem has been cleared by treatment from GP.

Impetigo: Highly contagious, spread by direct contact. Needs treatment from the GP. Children should not be in school until lesions are crusted or healed. Patches must be covered if child is sent to school.

Ringworm: Treatment from the GP. Once children have been treated they can continue with swimming and PE.

Conjunctivitis: Highly contagious, one day off after treatment has started.

Head-Lice: Responsibility for checking children’s hair for head-lice rests with the parent and should be done regularly – several times a week.

Sickness or Diarrhoea: Highly contagious, should be clear of symptoms for 48 hours before returning to school.

Measles: Children are infectious for 5-6 days before the rash appears and for 5 days after the temperature returns to normal.

Mumps: Children are infectious two days before the swelling appears and then until the swelling subsides.

German Measles: Children are infectious seven days before the rash appears and at least 4 days after the rash has gone.

Scarlet Fever: Children should not come to school until 5 days after commencement of antibiotics.

Whooping Cough: Children should remain at home for 5 days from commencement of antibiotics. Coughing may persist for many weeks.


If your child is suffering from any of the above, please comply with these guidelines for the benefit of other children and staff in school.