Sending your child to daycare can be beneficial for their social, cognitive, and emotional development. However, as a parent, you want to ensure your child stays healthy while attending daycare. In this blog post, we will discuss when to keep your child at home from daycare and guidelines to follow for returning to daycare after an illness.

When to Keep Your Child at Home

If your child is showing symptoms of illness, it’s important to keep them at home to prevent the spread of illness to other children and staff members. Here are some illnesses that warrant keeping your child home from daycare:

Contagious Illness:

  • Fever: Your child has a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Diarrhea or vomiting: Your child has had two or more episodes of diarrhea or vomiting in the last 24 hours.
  • Pink Eye: Your child has conjunctivitis with eye discharge, redness, and swelling.
  • Rash: Your child has an unexplained rash, especially if it is accompanied by fever, itching, or soreness.
  • Cold or Flu: Your child has symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose, especially if accompanied by a fever.

Non-Contagious Illness:

  • Head Lice: Your child has head lice or nits, and they have not yet received treatment.
  • Chickenpox or Shingles: Your child has chickenpox or shingles and is still contagious.
  • Streptococcal (Strep) Throat: Your child has been diagnosed with strep throat and has not yet completed a full course of antibiotics.

Guidelines for Returning to Daycare:

When your child is ready to return to daycare after an illness, there are some guidelines to follow:

  • Doctor’s note: Obtain a note from your child’s healthcare provider stating that they are cleared to return to daycare.
  • Symptom-free for 24 hours: Your child should be free of fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or other symptoms for at least 24 hours before returning to daycare.
  • Medication compliance: Make sure your child has completed any necessary medication regimens before returning to daycare.
  • Communication with daycare staff: Inform the daycare staff about your child’s illness and the steps taken to ensure they are healthy enough to return.

Preventing Illness in Daycare:

Prevention is key to keeping children healthy in daycare. Here are some tips to prevent illness:

  • Regular Hand Washing: Teach your child to wash their hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after playing with toys.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing Toys: Toys and other surfaces in the daycare should be regularly cleaned and sanitized to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Proper Food Handling: Make sure food is stored and prepared properly to prevent foodborne illnesses.
  • Immunizations: Ensure your child is up to date on their vaccinations to protect against vaccine-preventable illnesses.
  • Staying Home When Sick: Keep your child home from daycare when they are sick to prevent the spread of illness to others.


Keeping children healthy in daycare is a joint effort between parents and daycare staff. It’s important to know when to keep your child at home from daycare to prevent the spread of illness to other children and staff members. By following guidelines for returning to daycare and taking steps to prevent illness, you can help ensure a healthy environment for your child and others in the daycare.

If you have any concerns about your child’s health or if they are showing signs of illness, don’t hesitate to contact San Antonio ENT at 210-249-4838 to schedule an appointment. Our experienced team of pediatric specialists can help diagnose and treat any issues your child may be experiencing so that they can stay healthy and thrive in daycare. Remember, a healthy child is a happy child!


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