D&V Information

From time to time children are sick (vomit) either at home or at school. Unfortunately it is not possible to distinguish between the causes, and therefore it is essential that the same rule of exclusion applies in all cases of vomiting or Diarrhoea.

In the Health Protection Agency document, “Guidelines for the Control of Infection and Communicable Disease in School and Early Years Settings”, the guidance is:

Diarrhoea and Vomiting exclusion

Diarrhoea and/or vomiting commonly affects children and staff and can be caused by a number of different germs, including viruses, parasites and bacteria. Infections can be easily spread from person to person (by unwashed hands), especially in children. In general, it is recommended that any staff member or child with diarrhoea and/or vomiting symptoms must stay away or be excluded from the school or early years setting until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours (the ‘48 hour rule’) and feel well. Personal hygiene whilst ill must be very strict.

If your child is sick at school, we will ask you or your emergency contact to take your child home. They should not return for 48 hours. We appreciate that this is inconvenient in many cases, and you may not believe your child is ill, but you will appreciate that we do this in all cases and it should reduce the risk of infection for all children in school.  As an example, if your child is sick at lunchtime on a Tuesday, they should not return to school until after lunch on Thursday, provided there have not been any further episodes of vomiting.

Thank you for your understanding with this.  Further guidance on infection control may be found on the Public Health England Website.

In April 2022, the UKHSA revised infection prevention and control advice for children and babies following cases of diarrhoea and vomiting. The well-established principle of keeping children off school, and prohibited from attending residential school trips, until 48 hours have lapsed after their last episode remains.

Health protection in education and childcare settings.

For the purposes of educational visits involving water based activities,  Chapter 6 of the guidance now recommends babies or children should not swim in public swimming pools or participate in school swimming lessons for 2 weeks after diarrhoea and vomiting has stopped. This would also apply to hydrotherapy.


Providing 48 hours have lapsed since the last episode, children may participate in pre-arranged residential trips, but they should be offered alternative activities to compensate for any planned swimming pool based events.

Further advice on outdoor education and educational visits is available from the Outdoor Educational Advisers Panel website.