Little School Sickness and Medication Policy

Please read and complete the electronic form submission at the end of the policy. 

In order for your child to be able to fully participate and benefit from the Little School program, the safety and good health of your infant/toddler are of primary importance.   With guidance from the CDC and RI Department of Health, Little School has developed health policies to address important topics such as when to keep your child home, when your child may return to school after illness, medication administration and other health and safety concerns . These guidelines have recently been amended per CDC guidelines in response to COVID-19.  Amendments are noted in Green. 

In order to ensure the safety and health of all the Little School’s participants, each child attending must have an up to date physical examination and immunization record on file.   All forms must be updated annually.   

There will be times when your child is too ill to attend Little School’s program. If you do get a call to pick up your child due to illness, pickups should be within thirty minutes of being called.  Sick will be kept separate from well children until they can be sent home.  Please be sure to have a local backup person designated for pick ups if you can not get to Little School within that time frame. 

The following symptoms and exclusions will help you determine whether or not your child should stay home. 

Symptoms and Exclusions:  

The RIDOH has made it clear to school nurses that there needs to be a low threshold for illness.  To that end, they have instructed us to send students, faculty and staff  home with any symptom of COVID-19, even if the symptom does not indicate a probable case of COVID-19. That is, if  your child  has a new onset of any symptom, he/she  will need to stay home or if he/she is at school, your child  will need to be sent home . In all cases, the RIDOH advises that symptomatic individuals seek medical advice and test if recommended.

In addition,

if your child  present with one of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Difficulty Breathing or Shortness of Breath
  • New Loss of Taste or Smell


two of the following symptoms:             

  • Fever or Chills
  • Muscle or Body Aches
  • Runny Nose or Nasal Congestion
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sore Throat
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Your child must be tested for COVID-19 before he/she can return to school. If the test is negative, your child  may return to school if he/she  is  fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and symptoms have improved or resolved (back to usual health).  If the test is positive,  you must follow the RIDOH guidelines for ending isolation.

What about runny noses and headaches? If the symptom is a new onset (developed within the last 24 hours) you should keep your child  home or,  if the symptom first presents at school  in the earlier part of the day,  you will be called to pick up your child .

If your child  remains fever free x 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and the symptom improves or resolves, your child is  welcome  to return to school.  Even in this case,  the RIDOH recommends that the symptomatic individual seek medical advice.

We ask that parents complete and submit the After-Illness Attestation Form also found in the Health and Wellness section Parent Portal once their child is ready to return to school.   Once completed, this form must be delivered to the school nurse or uploaded in the Parent Portal using the link provided on the page. 

Children with pre-existing health conditions that could make them more vulnerable to COVID-19 will need verification from a doctor to return.

What if someone in our community tests positive?

We will notify the Rhode Island Department of Health of any positive test result and work with them to identify close contacts in the school.  We communicate with parents of close contacts and assist in providing ongoing support and guidance.  Information regarding quarantine and isolation guidance is also located on the COVID Resource page of the Parent Portal.  We follow the RIDOH guidelines for disinfection of any affected areas.

Please notify us if your child or family member tests positive or is deemed a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual.  Your child may return  to school once they have met the RIDOH guidelines to end their isolation or quarantine. 


Sickness & Medication Policy- Prior to COVID


Note: Policy below was developed prior to COVID and is temporarily suspended until further notice.  Please adhere to guidelines above in green.


A temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher is considered a fever. If your child has had a fever within a 24 hour period, he/she should stay home. For example, at bedtime your child has a fever of 100.6 degrees, received Tylenol, and in the morning awakes with a temperature of 97.6. Keep your child home. 

Although the temperature is low in the morning, the child can still expose others to infection and still may develop a fever later in the day. Fever reducers, while effective in lowering temperatures, only mask underlying infection, and does not remedy the child’s illness. 

Please be sure your child is fever-free, without the use of fever reducers, for 24 hours before allowing him/her to return to school. 

Vomiting and Diarrhea 

Vomiting and/or diarrhea, with or without fever, within the past are indications that your child 

should stay home. He/She can be weakened from these symptoms and unable to participate fully in the program, thus making him/her more susceptible to other infections. Furthermore, in a daycare setting, vomiting and diarrhea can be very contagious. 

We do recognize that Little School children are being introduced to new foods, teething and are very oral at this time and will take this into consideration before making the decision to send your child home.

Please keep your child home until he/she has been without vomiting and/or diarrhea for a full 24 hours. 

Your child will be sent home from school if he or she has three loose bowel movements while at school, or vomits. If your child is taking antibiotics or if he/she has a change in their diet please communicate this with us in case diarrhea, loss of appetite, rash or vomiting symptoms were to appear. 

Red, Swollen, Draining Eyes 

If your child wakes up with his/her eye(s) stuck together with discharge red or swollen eyes, or is sent home with these symptoms, he/she should remain home until they are evaluated by their physician. Children are welcome to attend the Little School once they have obtained a note from their physician stating that they may return to school. 

If your child requires antibiotic treatment for these symptoms, they need to be treated for 24 hours before they can return and will require a physician’s note clearing them to return to school. 


If your child develops an unusual rash, he/she should remain home until they are evaluated by their physician. Children are welcome to attend the Little School once they have obtained a note from their physician stating that they are not contagious and may return to school. This does not include normal diaper rash or a previous diagnosis (e.g. mild eczema). However, if a diaper rash or eczema becomes open, draining, inflamed, etc. the child will need to be evaluated by a physician and will require a note from their physician stating that they may return to school. 

When you suspect any type of illness/infection 

Should your child be experiencing symptoms not mentioned that may or may not be contagious, please feel free to call the nurse in helping with the decision to send your child to daycare or keep him/her home. You will be advised on how to proceed. 

Extreme Tiredness/Loss of Appetite 

This is a sign that illness is lingering or starting for your child. He/She may or may not have a fever and is not acting like his/her usual self. Give him/her a day at home to get back on his/her feet and eating normally before he/she returns to the program. 

Moderate and Severe Cold Symptoms 

If your child’s nose is draining a great deal, has a persistent cough, and generally is not acting like or feeling like his/her usual self, he/she needs to remain home. Not only will he/she benefit from rest, cold medicine, and fluids by staying home, but your child also won’t give his/her cold to the other children and staff. 

Your child may return to The Little School's program after illness when: 

  • Fever-free for the past 24 hours without needing Tylenol or Ibuprofen. 
  • No vomiting or diarrhea within a 24 hour period.   Appetite and activity level have returned to normal or close to normal.
  • Cold symptoms are mild enough so as not to interfere with participation in the school day or infect others.
  • Has been on antibiotics for at least 24 hours and is feeling well enough to participate in a full program, including outdoor time.
  • A doctor’s note accompanies your child if he/she is sent home with draining and/or red eyes or has been diagnosed with conjunctivitis. 
  • The school nurse can request a note from the doctor for any illness before returning to school. 


In order for your child to receive prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication, a medication form must be filled out and left with a daycare provider. 

  • All medication must be stored in its original container and clearly labeled with your child’s name.
  • Prescription medication must have a signed note from the doctor stating the name of the medication, dosage, time and route to be administered.
  • All medication must be checked in with a provider.  It is against Little School policy to let children carry or administer their own medication.
  • All medications will be administered by discretion of the school nurse. Tylenol and Ibuprofen will not be given if teachers suspect its use is to mask your child’s fever.  If your child has a fever before entering Little School please keep him/her home.
  • Treatments requiring a nebulizer should be given at home.  Alternate methods of medication delivery should be sent in for use during the school day i.e. MDI  (metered dose inhalers with spacer or optichamber )

The Little School Biting Policy 

Biting is an age appropriate developmental stage, a concern that is not uncommon among toddlers and two year olds. At the Little School, we recognize that biting is as normal and natural as toileting and tantrums, yet we accept that it is our responsibility to provide and maintain a safe environment for all children. 

This policy has been developed to enhance children’s safety by summarizing the steps that will be taken in biting situations: 

When Biting Does Occur: 

For the Child that was bitten: 

  • First aid will be given to the bite. If the skin is broken, the bite will be examined by the nurse and covered with a bandage. 
  • Parents will be notified immediately if the skin is broken otherwise they will be notified at pickup time. 
  • An incident form will be filled out documenting the incident. 

For the child that bit: 

  • The child will be removed from the situation and told that biting is not allowed. Very little attention will be given to the biter concerning this action. 
  • The parents will be notified at pick up time. Parents will also be notified about biting attempts. 

When Biting Continues: 

  • The child will be observed and occurrences and behavior will be documented. Staff will shadow the biter to try to prevent the behavior from occurring and look for patterns in this behavior. 

When Biting Becomes Excessive: 

  • If a child inflicts 2 bites in a one week period (5 weekdays) in which the skin of another child is broken or bruised or the bite leaves a significant mark, a conference will be held with the parents to discuss the child’s behavior and how the behavior may be modified. Keeping consistency at both home and school will allow us to work together to reduce the amount of biting. 
  • If the child again inflicts 2 bites in a one week period (5 weekdays) the child will be asked to remain at home for 2 contracted school days. 
  • If the child again inflicts 2 bites in a one week period (5 weekdays) the parents will be asked to make other child care arrangements for their child. If a child goes through all of the steps above and goes more than 3 weeks without biting we will go back to step 1 if the child bites again.