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  • Dr Geraint Preest

"How long does my child stay off school?"

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

This is one of the most common questions asked by parents when their children come to us with an infectious disease.

All of the information that is in this blog, comes from this really useful document from the Health Protection Agency and it's "the official line" that our Doctors use when they advise you. If you have young children, it's really useful to print it out and keep it in your medicine cabinet - but remember that this information may apply to some adults too.

So what about some of the more common conditions and common questions in Pencoed and Llanharan? We've summarised them here:

Recommended period to be kept away from school, nursery or childminders for a selection of conditions:


  • Chickenpox - Until all of the spots have dried up and scabbed over

  • Cold sores - None

  • Hand Foot & Mouth - None

  • Impetigo - Until lesions are crusted and healed, or 48 hours after commencing antibiotic treatment

  • Molluscum contagiosum - None

  • Ringworm - Exclusion not usually required

  • Roseola - None

  • Scabies - Child can return after first treatment

  • Warts & Veruccas - None

Diarrhoea & Vomiting

  • 48 hours from the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting

Other infections

  • Conjunctivitis - None (yes, that's right. Check out the reference linked above and show it to your nursery if they argue otherwise)

  • Headlice - None

  • Threadworms - None

  • Tonsillitis - None (however, if Scarlet Fever has been diagnosed, then the child can return 24 hours after commencing appropriate antibiotic treatment)

This is very much a summary. There is additional information for pregnant women and vulnerable groups* on the Health Protection Agency document, along with a neat summary of the immunisation schedule. It's all on one side of A4 and we recommend that you take a look if you'd like to clarify or confirm the summary above.

*Remember that some vulnerable children (e.g. those treated for cancers, high dose steroids or leukaemias etc) may need further precautions to be taken, which should be discussed with the parent or carer in conjunction with their medical team and school health

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