Benicia Unified School District

If questions arise regarding when a student should remain at home please refer to these guidelines. Students who have been evaluated by a physician may return to school when specified by the health care provider.

Sick Day Guidelines

Making the Right Call When Your Child Is Sick

Should I keep my child home or send him or her to school? 

School policy requires a child stay home​ if he or she: 

  • Has a fever​ of 100.5 degrees or higher 
  • Has been vomiting or has diarrhea or stomach upset 
  • Have symptoms that keep your child from participating in school, such as: 
  1. Uncontrolled coughing or sneezing that he/she cannot control even with medication. 
  2. Very congested/runny nose that is not controlled by medication recommended by your doctor. Yellow or green nasal discharge may be an indication of infection which will need to be evaluated by the doctor. 
  3. Headaches, body aches, or earaches with mild fevers 
  4. Sore Throat—a little sore throat is ok for school, but a bad sore throat could be strep throat​, even if there is no initial fever. 
  5. Pink Eye (medically diagnosed) until treated for 24 hours 

24 Hour Rule-Best Practice: 

  • FEVER: Keep your child home until his or her temperature has been less than 100.0 degrees WITHOUT medicine ​for 24 hrs​. ​Colds can be contagious for at least 48 hours. Returning to school too soon may slow recovery and make others sick. 
  • VOMITING OR DIARRHEA: Keep your child home for 24 hours after the​ LAST​ time he or she vomited or had diarrhea​. 
  • ANTIBIOTICS: Keep your child home until 24 hours after theFIRST​ dose of antibiotic​ for

  anything like ear infection or strep throat.           


  1. Hand washing is the number one, scientifically proven method for the prevention of the spread of disease. Encourage your children to wash their hands before and after eating, after toileting, after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose, and upon getting home from school. 
  2. Teaching your child to cover their mouth using the inside of their elbow when they cough or sneeze prevents the spread of bacteria and viruses in droplet form that float through the air. 3. Using a tissue to wipe the runny nose helps to contain the drainage. This intervention is another effective method of prevention when the tissue is disposed of properly in a waste receptacle. 

References: Center for Disease Control (CDC) 

National Association of School Nurses (NASN)