Infectious diseases in children

Is your child infectious?

The following lists the times that your child will be infectious to other children ifthey have the following conditions:

Mumps: 3 days before salivary gland swelling in the cheeks to 7 days after
Chicken pox: a few days before the onset of rash develops and not more than six days after first lesions appear
Measles: from the start of fever/flu-like symptoms to 4 days after the onset of the rash
Rubella: one week before onset of rash until 4 days after
Whooping cough: one week after exposure until 3 weeks after onset of symptoms (but only 7 days if antibiotics given)
Scarlet fever: 10-21 days after the rash onset (but only one day if penicillin given)
Slapped cheek disease: for up to 14 days before the onset of the rash. A child is no longer infectious once the rash has appeared

Does your child need to stay off school?

Keep your child off for five days from school:

  • from rash onset – chickenpox, german measles (rubella), measles
  • from starting antibiotics – whooping cough (pertussis), scarlet fever
  • from onset of swollen glands – mumps

Keep your child off from school until the condition has settled for 24 hours:

giardiasis; salmonella; shigella
Keep your child off from school until lesions crusted or healed:

Keep your child off from school until treated:

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; hand, foot and mouth disease; roseola; slapped cheek disease (parvovirus); warts and verrucae; conjunctivitis; glandular fever; head lice; non-meningiococcal meningitis; thread worm; tonsillitis