How long should I keep my child out of school with the chickenpox?

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

If your child has chicken pox, you should keep him out of school until he is no longer contagious. Chicken pox, an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, is contagious 1 to 2 days before the first rash breaks out and for another 5 to 7 days afterward. Your child is contagious until a full day after the last blister develops and should not return to school until the last rash has crusted over. Most patients are no longer contagious after a week, but it may take another week or more in some cases.

The trouble with chickenpox is that it is contagious for a good majority of the time your child has it. The contagious period ends when all the blisters have turned into brown, dried up scabs. So, this usually equates to about one school week.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.