Infectious Diseases

What to do if your child is unwell and unable to go to school

If your child experiences an illness that is infectious, contagious or harmful to others at the school, you should keep your child at home until they are better.

This is in the best interests of your child and protects other children from also becoming unwell. In these situations, the principal may ask you to temporarily keep your child away from school.

If there is an outbreak of vaccine preventable diseases such as rubella, measles, mumps or whooping cough in the community and your child has not been vaccinated against it, you will be asked to keep your child home from school until the outbreak is over to ensure they are not put at unnecessary risk of being infected.

You may also seek medical advice as to how to prevent your child from becoming infected.

Where to start

  • If your child is unwell and unable to go to school, it is important to tell the school and provide the reason for your child’s absence. You can:
    • send a note or email to the school
    • telephone or message the school office
    • visit the school.
  • The principal may ask for a medical certificate to explain an extended absence for illness.
  • You must tell the school if your child has an illness that may be passed on to other students so that the absence can be recorded and the health of other children monitored.
  • Information on the types of illness and the period of non-attendance required is available from your school.

If your child becomes unwell at school

If your child becomes unwell or is injured at school, your school will contact you and seek the necessary medical attention.

The best place for children to be if they are unwell is at home.

In the event of an emergency, your child may be moved to a safe place for appropriate care or treatment without prior permission. This may be by ambulance or other form of transportation.

It is therefore very important for you to keep the school updated about any medical conditions or allergies that your child has, and that you inform the school of correct contact numbers for yourself and your child’s doctor.

Schools keep records of accidents and follow guidelines for dealing with them and for removing any dangers.

Where can I get more information?