This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Exclusion from school (hand foot and mouth disease)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Exclusion for five days (1,2):

  • from rash onset - chickenpox*, measles
  • from starting antibiotics - whooping cough (pertussis)
  • from onset of swollen glands - mumps

German measles (rubella) (3)

  • six days from onset of rash

Scarlet fever (3)

  • child can return 24 hours after commencing appropriate antibiotic treatment
    • antibiotic treatment recommended for the affected child

Exclusion until condition has settled

  • giardiasis - see linked item
  • salmonella -see linked item
  • shigella - see linked item

Exclusion until lesions crusted or healed

  • impetigo
    • until lesions are crusted and healed, or 48 hours after commencing antibiotic treatment (3)

Shingles (3)

  • exclude only if rash is weeping and cannot be covered

Exclusion from school until treated

  • scabies

With respect to hepatitis A:

  • see linked item

With respect to gastroenteritis:

  • NICE have stated that (4):
    • children should not attend any school or other childcare facility while they have diarrhoea or vomiting caused by gastroenteritis
      • children should not go back to their school or other childcare facility until at least 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting
      • children should not swim in swimming pools for 2 weeks after the last episode of diarrhoea.

With respect to tinea capitis (fungal scalp infection):

  • although the potential risk of transmission of infection to unaffected classmates has led some authorities to recommend exclusion from school - however mmost experts consider this impractical and suggest that children receiving appropriate systemic and adjunctive topical therapy should be allowed to attend school or nursery (5)

Conditions where there is no recommended period to be kept away from school (once the child is well):

  • influenza; cold sores (HSV); molluscum contagiosum; ringworm (tinea); athlete's foot; roseola; slapped cheek disease (parvovirus); warts and verrucae; conjunctivitis; glandular fever; head lice; non-meningiococcal meningitis; thread worm; tonsillitis
  • hand, foot and mouth disease
    • infected children should be kept away from school while they are unwell. The child should not be kept away from school till the last blister disappears, providing the child is well (6).

* note that guidance from Great Ormand Street Hospital suggests that chickenpox is infectious from a few days before the onset of the rash and not more than six days after first lesions appear (7)

  • this guidance implies that school exclusion should be for six days from the onset of the rash and not five days as per DOH guidance


Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Annotations allow you to add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation. E.g. a website or number. This information will always show when you visit this page.

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.