Identify exclusion periods for common childhood illnesses

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 1.5: Understand how to support children who are unwell
Learning outcome: Know common childhood illnesses
Assessment criteria: Identify exclusion periods for common childhood illnesses

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To prevent the spread of infection in an Early Years setting, children with particular illnesses will be required to stay at home until the risk of them infecting others has been considerably reduced. This is known as the exclusion period.

The exclusion periods for particular illnesses can vary between settings, so it is important that you are familiar with your own organisation’s policies and procedures. The government maintains a list of recommended exclusion periods, which has been the source for the table below:

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IllnessExclusion period
Common coldNo exclusion period
Flu (influenza)Until recovered
Whooping cough2 days from starting antibiotic treatment, or 21 days from onset of symptoms if no antibiotics
TonsilitisNo exclusion period
Stomach bug/food poisoning48 hours after diarrhoea and vomiting have stopped
ChickenpoxAt least 5 days from onset of rash and until all blisters have crusted over
Measles4 days from onset of rash and well enough
German measles\Rubella5 days from onset of rash
Mumps5 days after onset of swelling
ScabiesAfter first treatment
Scarlet feverUntil 24 hours after starting antibiotic treatment
Hand, foot and mouth diseaseNo exclusion period
Impetigo (bullous & non-bullous)Until lesions are crusted or healed, or 48 hours after starting antibiotic treatment
Ear infectionsNo exclusion period
MeningitisUntil recovered
Recommended exclusion periods for common childhood illnesses
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