Borrowdale CE Primary School
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Illness and Medication

Reporting illness


If your child is prevented from attending school because they are ill, please contact school. There is usually someone in the office at 8am to answer the phone, alternatively, please email Mr Smits. If the school has not been notified by 9am, the teacher will have to find time away from class to contact you to find out why your child is absent.


Unfortunately, infectious diseases are common amongst nursery, pre-school or school children and schools often present as an ideal situation for diseases to spread. A child who has acquired an infectious disease may show general signs of illness. This can include shivering attacks or feeling cold, headache, vomiting, sore throat or just feeling unwell. Such symptoms, when a particular infectious disease is prevalent will make the teachers suspicious and parents will be contacted so that they can collect the child to consult the GP, if necessary.


Some infections are minor and keeping a child from attending nursery or school cannot always be justified. Parents should ensure that their child receives all appropriate routine vaccinations when they are due.


When is my child too ill for school?

It can be tricky deciding whether or not to keep your child off school when they're unwell.


Ask yourself:

  • Is my child well enough to do fully participate in all school activities?
  • Do they have something that teachers or other children could catch?
  • Would I take a day off work if I had this illness?
  • Does my child need so much extra care that it will burden the teachers?

If the answer is yes to any of these, keep them at home.


Some general rules for illnesses:

  • Children who are not well should not be at school, even if they are not infectious.
  • Children with diarrhoea and/or vomiting should not be in school. This rule also applies to staff. Children and staff should stay away from school until they have been symptom free for 48 hours.
  • Children who have been prescribed antibiotics can usually return to school before they have completed the course providing they feel well enough, for example, scarlet fever. Parents are expected to fill in the consent form for administering medication which you can download elsewhere on this page. 


Most important, go with your gut. You know your child. If your child has the sniffles but hasn't slowed down at home, chances are he or she is well enough for the classroom. But if they've been coughing all night and have a hard time getting up in the morning, he or she might need to take it easy at home.


Having a sore throat, cough, or mild congestion doesn't always mean a child can't handle class and other activities. But there are government guidelines for schools and nurseries that say when children should be kept off school and when they shouldn't.


According to the NHS, not every cough and cold means your children need to stay off school, as long as their illness doesn’t give them a raised temperature or drowsiness.


Of course, never send a child to school who has a fever, is nauseated or vomiting, or has diarrhoea. Children with diarrhoea or vomiting should stay away from school for 48 hours (2 days) after their symptoms have gone. Children who lose their appetite, are clingy or lethargic or who just don't seem like themselves may also need to take a sick day.


If you do keep your child at home, it is important to phone the school. Let us know that your child won't be in and give us the reason.


    PHE poster on Guidance on Infection Control for Schools


    Medication Procedure

    For reasons of Health and Safety, as a general principle we should not have medicines in school and ask that this be avoided whenever possible. However, occasionally there are circumstances where this may prove to be difficult, such as when a child has asthma or a course of antibiotics to complete. If the alternative is missing school, then staff are willing to co-operate but parents must give medicines directly to staff, clearly labeled and with written instructions. You will also be asked to fill in the consent form for administering medication which you can download through the link at the top of this page.