Advice on illness

If your child shows signs of  being unwell, please keep them at home until they are well enough to return to school.  We have attached for your information the NHS guidance on periods of absence for different ailments.

If you are in doubt about your child’s symptoms, please contact your GP surgery the School Nurse or after hours NHS 24.

Communicable diseases

Virus/Infection Impetigo
How it is passed on Direct or indirect contact with pus or blister
Incubation Period 1 to 3 days
Infectious Period As long as pus is present
Exclusion Until the sores have healed for 48 hours or antibiotics have been taken for 48 hours
Diarrhoea & Vomiting
How it is passed on Through poor hygiene e.g. lack of hand washing or virally.
Incubation Period Usually 3 – 5 days
Infectious Period Throughout the course of infection, often several days into weeks.
Exclusion May return after 48 hours from the last episode of vomiting or diarrhoea.
How it is passed on Respiratory droplets & airborne spread.
Incubation Period 1 – 5 days
Infectious Period 3 to 5 days from the onset
Exclusion Until clinically well
How it is passed on Contact with discharges from infected persons, clothing or other articles
Incubation Period 24 – 72 hours
Infectious Period During the course of active infection.
Exclusion In the acute stage and after symptoms are resolving or as directed by your GP
Scarlet Fever (Scarletina)
Description Acute tonsillitis, fine reddish rash over most of the body, tongue resembling a strawberry
How passed on Direct and indirect contact with cases or carriers.
Incubation Period 1 – 3 days
Infectious Period While the organism is present in the throat or nose
Exclusion 48 hours after antibiotics are started.


  Chicken Pox
Description Mild fever, rash like for a few hours, blisters for 3 to 4 days and leaves a scab when dry
How passed on Person to person by direct contact is also airbourne. The scabs are not infectious
Incubation Period. From 2 – 3 weeks, commonly 15 – 18 days
Infectious Period Can be 5 days, usually 1 – 2 days before the onset of the rash but not more than 5 days after its appearance
Exclusion For 5 days from the onset of the rash or until vesicles become dry, whichever is longer
Pain in the throat and trouble swallowing, as this is a viral infection antibiotics are not required except in streptococcal infection where antibiotics are recommended. Symptoms get worse over 2 – 3 days then gradually go within 1 week.
How passed on Airbourne droplets, hand contact or kissing
Incubation Period Depends on the cause
Infectious Period Depends on the cause
Exclusion None, but the child may be too unwell to attend.
Head Lice (Pediculosis)
Description Infestation of the head with lice, larvae, and nits (eggs) causing severe itching.
How passed on Direct contact or indirect contact with shared clothing or combs and brushes
Incubation Period Eggs hatch in 7 10 days and are sexually mature in 12 days.
Infectious Period As long as the eggs or lice remain alive
Exclusion None: treat with an appropriate preparation (chemical)
German Measles (Rubella)
Description Mild fever, pinpoint red spots, enlarged lymph nodes behind the ears.
How passed on Direct person to person contact by respiratory droplets.
Incubation Period
Most commonly 16 – 18 days
Infectious Period
1 week before onset of rash and at least 4 days after rash appears
For 5 days after onset of rash.
Description Fever, stiff neck, headache, flu like symptoms. A rash resembling German Measles can occur. This is a very serious illness and must be dealt with quickly.
How passed on Not usually transmissible from person to person except for Haemophilus type b and Meningococcal
Incubation Period Variable, depending on organism
Infectious Period Dependent on organism
Exclusion Until clinically well.

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