Shared surfaces. Close quarters. And young children rubbing and touching their noses and eyes. It\u2019s no wonder classrooms are breeding grounds for illness well beyond cold and flu season.\nHow do you know when it\u2019s time to keep your child home sick, or when they\u2019re well enough to head to the classroom? It\u2019s important to weigh your options and determine what\u2019s best for your child \u2014 as well as their classmates and teachers.\nWhen to Keep Your Child Home from School\nFirst things first \u2013 what are his or her symptoms?\nEvaluate the severity of the symptoms and the underlying causes before sending your sick child to school. Also determine whether the illness can be passed on to other students. If your child is contagious, it\u2019s best to keep him or her home until the contagious period has ended.\nFeeling under the weather? Make an appointment with a UPMC Primary Care doctor near you.\u00a0\n\nFever:\u00a0Fevers are usually a sign of the body fighting infection. When someone\u2019s temperature is more than 100 degrees, they should stay home for at least 24 hours after a fever breaks. Learn more about the severity of fevers.\nDiarrhea and\/or vomiting:\u00a0Both of these conditions are a means of your body ridding itself of germs. If your child has diarrhea, make sure he or she consumes plenty of liquids. Those with diarrhea should remain home until the symptoms cease and stool is solid.\nSore throat:\u00a0If your child\u2019s sore throat is a symptom of a mild cold, he or she can go to school. But if the sore throat worsens or your child has been diagnosed with strep throat, wait at least 24 hours after beginning antibiotics to resume school and activities.\nCough and cold:\u00a0Again, your child can go to school with a mild cold, but severe cough and cold symptoms are a reason to stay home. Your child could pass the cold onto other children, and severe symptoms can be a sign of a more serious condition.\nEarache:\u00a0Your child can go to school with an earache, as long as he or she feels well enough to concentrate.\n\nRELATED:\u00a05 Common Food Allergies in Kids and Adults\nDeciding to Keep Your Child Home from Class\nIf your child is diagnosed with a contagious illness, including pink eye, the flu, chickenpox, or a rash, keep him or her home from school until your doctor gives the OK to proceed. Consider whether your child is too sick to participate in and learn from his lessons at school. For most illnesses, rest is important for recovery.