IS YOUR CHILD TOO SICK FOR SCHOOL?
WHEN SHOULD YOU LET YOUR CHILD STAY HOME?
Here are a few guidelines you might want to follow:
- A runny nose is the way many children respond to pollen, dust, or simply a change of season. If it isn’t the common cold, then it’s an allergy. Don’t keep the child home from school.
- A bad cough or cold symptoms can indicate a severe cold, bronchitis, flu or even pneumonia. A run of the mill cold should not be reason to miss school. But if your child is not acting right, has a fever, has difficulty breathing or is becoming dehydrated, it could be serious. Check with your doctor.
- Diarrhea and vomiting make children very uncomfortable. If your child has diarrhea, vomiting or a fever, rash or general weakness; consult a doctor and keep your child out of school until the illness passes (usually 48-72 hours).
- Fever is an important symptom; when it occurs along with a sore throat, nausea, listlessness or a rash, your child could be carrying something very contagious. Most doctors advise parents to keep children home curing the course of a fever and for an additional 24 hours after the fever has passed.
- Strep throat and scarlet fever are two highly contagious conditions caused by a streptococcal (bacterial) infection. They usually arrive with a sore throat and high fever. Some 12 to 48 hours after the onset of scarlet fever, a rash will also appear. A child with either strep throat or scarlet fever should be kept home and treated with antibiotics as prescribed by a doctor. After 24 hours on an antibiotic, the child may return to school, with doctor permission.Please inform us if your child has positive strep.
- Chicken Pox, a viral disease, is not life threatening to children but is very uncomfortable and extremely contagious. If your child has a fever is itching and begins to have pink or red spots with watery centers on the back, chest and/or face, the chances are good it’s chicken pox. Please tell us if it is, it’s important that schools know this information. Keep your child home for at least a week from the time the rash appeared or if there is still fluid in any of the pox and at least two days after the last spot has appeared, whichever period is longer.
- Measles is a viral infection that attacks a child’s respiratory system, causing a dry, hacking cough, general weariness, inflamed eyes and fever. If these symptoms appear, please keep your child home and consult your doctor right away to avert more serious complications. If it is confirmed as measles, please let us know.
- Conjunctivitis or pink eye is highly contagious and uncomfortable, so take heed when your child complains of an eye or eyes burning, itching and producing a whitish discharge. Minor cases (caused by a virus) and severe cases (caused by bacteria) require treatment with prescription eye drops. It’s best to keep your child home until your doctor says it’s all right to return. If it is confirmed pink eye, please let us know.
- Ear infections, unless properly treated, can cause permanent hearing damage. Here again you should follow the 24-hour rule for fever & antibiotic therapy.
- Mites and lice can quickly produce itching and scratching. Mites are tiny insects in the same class as spiders and ticks; they irritate the skin and cause scabies. Lice are tiny parasites that thrive on the warm, damp scalps of children. (AFT school nurses recommend that you keep the child home until the initial treatment is completed.)Please remember your child can not return to school until you present proof of treatment, which includes the initial verification form (JHCC-R-F2) and the entire lice shampoo box once you have treated your child. Your child will be rechecked in 7-10 days by the school nurse. You must also retreat your child again to prevent any remaining nits from hatching. At this time please return the second treatment verification (JHCC-R-F2) form and the entire lice shampoo box. Caution your child against sharing anybody else’s combs, brushes or clothing (hats). Linens, clothing, should be washed in hot water and put in the dryer to kill lice. Vacuum mattress & carpets.
- PLEASE CALL THE SCHOOL WHEN YOUR CHILD IS ABSENT.
Reprinted by the American Federation of Teachers from “Reports to Parents”, first published by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Fall 1990.
EMERGENCY CARDS - It is extremely important to fill them out completely & immediately (health conditions, medications, emergency contacts, phone numbers). All contact from the school nurse or administration is taken directly from this form. If any of this information changes during the year, please notify the clinic at once.
ILLNESS OR INJURY- If a student becomes ill or is injured during school hours, he/she will be assessed by the nurse. The nurse will decide if the illness or injury warrants parental notification using guidelines provided by FCPS & will make contact using the information listed on the emergency card.
MEDICATION INHALERS & EPI-PENS- Students who need to use self-administered drugs must have the proper paperwork filled out by the parents/guardians and a doctor. These forms must be on file in the clinic, and the student should have a copy on their person at all times. Students may also choose to keep these medications in the clinic.
MEDICATIONS- Parents/guardians must bring in all over-the-counter (OTC) and prescribed medications. The clinic does not stock medication. OTC medications need to be in the original bottle & unopened. OTC medications also must be age appropriate. If it states on the package to consult doctor for your child’s age group then a form must be completed by a doctor prior to administering it at school. Prescription medicines need doctor's signatures on the Medication Authorization Form. Medications must not be sent to school with a student as this is against school policy.
MEDICATION FORMS - All medication forms are available on the fcps1.org website.
The direct line to the clinic is 540-422-7695. Please feel free to call or come by anytime.
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