Return to School after “Cold” or “Pink Eye”

This is a typical school note, to reassure a teacher that your child’s pink-eye is not a reason for exclusion from class. It would need to be signed by your child’s doctor.

If you think your child has a simple case of viral pink-eye, you can print out this letter and bring it with you to the doctor’s office. Then, after the doctor has evaluated your child, he or she can just sign this note, and you have something to take back to the school so that your child can go back to school right away.

Dear Teacher:


I have evaluated this child, and she/he has a common viral upper-respiratory tract infection (a “URI”).  These infections are caused by any of about 100 viruses; in usual practice we don’t bother to find out which one in particular.  The illness they cause often includes runny nose, cough, ear pain, and mild conjunctivitis (pink eye).  Even though conjunctivitis can be a symptom of a serious illness (such as measles or chlamydia trachomatis), in this child’s case the pink eye is simply another symptom of the common virus. It is not especially dangerous.

The child does not need to be excluded from school.  To limit the spread of the virus, provide tissues and convenient places to toss them when used; do frequent handwashing with soap and water.  To wash properly, the child needs to soap up well and rub her/his hands under running water for about a minute—long enough to sing the alphabet song twice.  Hand sanitizer can help, too. 

Of course, handwashing before eating is important for everyone in class.



[this page was last updated by Robert Needlman, on 11-25-2018]

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