Health Policy

  • Children should be kept at home unless well enough to participate fully in all aspects of the program, including both indoor and outdoor play. If on a given morning your child's condition is questionable, discuss this with the teacher, leave a number where you can be reached, and be ready to pick up your child if needed. 
     

    Illness

     
    For the sake of the child's comfort and the health of other children, please keep your child home under any of the following conditions:
    • signs of a fresh cold with an excess of coughing and/or sneezing
    • fever over 100 degrees
    • vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • untreated infection, e.g. strep throat, ear infection infectious rashes
    If your child has an infection that requires antibiotics, return to school should be delayed until after the temperature is normal and antibiotics have been administered for at least 24 hours. If your child has diarrhea and/or vomiting, return to school should be delayed for 24 hours after vomiting or diarrhea ceases.  If your child is home with a "strep" throat or a communicable disease (such as conjunctivitis), please let the teacher know. The teacher will inform the other parents. Keeping a child at home for one or two days at the beginning of an illness can often prevent a longer absence later.
     

    Guidelines for Dealing with Specific Symptoms and Diseases

     
    Diarrhea: Keep at home until stool returns to normal. This may be a sign of intestinal infection and it is contagious.
     
    Sore Throat: A child with a continuous sore throat should be checked for strep infection. Symptoms of strep throat are red, sore throat, fever, severe headache, and/or rashes. Strep infection can be present without evidence of fever. Children with strep may return to the program 24 hours after beginning antibiotic medication and if they can maintain their usual level of activity.  Parents should notify the school of infection so that other parents will be informed of the exposure. 
     
    Colds: Keep home during first stage of severe symptoms. These include yellow nasal discharge, runny eyes, fever and persistent cough.
     
    Infectious Conjunctivitis: Very contagious eye infection. Symptoms are redness of eye lining, swelling and pus in the eyes. Antibiotic must be administered for 24 hours before return. Parents should notify school immediately so others can be informed of the exposure. 
     
    Fever: Any child with a fever of 100 must not attend school and must be free of fever for 24 hours before returning to school and exhibits ability to maintain normal levels of activity.
     
    Vomiting: Children with intestinal flu or active vomiting for any reason must remain at home until the vomiting has stopped and the child resumes normal eating habits and is able to maintain normal level of activity. This usually occurs 24 hours after vomiting ceases.
     
    Chicken Pox: This is very contagious and appears as small, round yellowish blisters on front and back of torso. Child should be kept home for one week from initial outbreak and 24 hours from when last pox scabbed over. Parents should notify school immediately so that others can be informed of the exposure. Most children are immunized against chicken pox but disease still may break through. 
     
    Impetigo: This is a highly contagious skin infection characterized by crusted sores and a red rash. It often appears on the face. Treatment is usually a topical antibiotic and child may return to school after 24 hours on medication.
     
    Ticks: A parent will be called if a tick is found on the child. If a parent cannot be located, the pediatrician will be called for further instructions.
     
    Pediculosis (Head Lice): 
     
    THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF BROOKLINE, MASSACHUSETTS HEALTH SERVICES
    Pediculosis (Lice) Management Guidelines
      
    Recent research by the Harvard School of Public Health and the American Academy of   Pediatrics* advises a change in screening procedures, exclusion and ‘No Nit’ policies in   schools. There is no scientific evidence that warrants the exclusion of children with head   lice.  Periodic head checks by parents, resulting in early detection, treatment and removal   of live lice and nits, is the most reliable method for controlling pediculosis.
     
    Nurse’s Role
    The school nurse is available to educate parents, teachers and children regarding the   detection and treatment of head lice. The nurse will notify families when a case of head   lice has occurred in their child’s class. No child will be identified. The nurse will    monitor the treatment of an affected child to insure that appropriate and timely treatment has occurred.
     
    Procedure
    1)  Children with an active lice infestation will be sent home treatment before they return to school the next day. They must be checked before reentry by the nurse/designee to ensure that treatment/lice removal has occurred.  
     
    2)  When a child with untreated head lice is reported to the nurse by a parent, or detected at school, a note requesting that parents check their child’s head will be sent home to each member of the class. No mass screenings will be done at school.  
     
     3)  Each parent/guardian of each child in the class must check their child before they return to school the next day to make sure their child is free from lice and nits (eggs).  If your child has head lice, treat your child with a pediculocidal shampoo, notify the nurse and bring your child to the nurse for reentry clearance.  All live lice and most nits should be removed before your child returns to school. The nurse may deny reentry to a child who has not been treated.  
     
    4)  The nurse may follow -up with periodic checks of individual children who had lice to make  sure they have not been reinfested.  A nit takes up to 2 weeks to hatch and a louse takes  approximately 2 weeks to become an adult egg layer,  one month of biweekly head  checks is recommended for families who have a case of head lice and at least weekly  checks are strongly  suggested for all other families.  
    Please check your children carefully and often. Report findings to your school nurse.      
     
    *Sciscione, P. (2007). No Nit Policies in Schools: Time for a Change. Journal of School                1/28/08 
     

    Plan for Infection Control

     
    Signs for hand washing procedures are posted in or near each bathroom and classroom sink. Antibacterial soap is located in dispensers in each bathroom and classroom. In addition, all children are continually reminded by staff to wash hands after toileting and before snack time. Disposable paper towels are used to dry hands. Bleach and water solution is used to disinfect countertops, tabletops and sink areas. Tables and surfaces are disinfected daily. Priority attention is given to keeping toys, play areas, food and sink areas clean and sanitized.
     

    Emergency Messages

     
    If your child becomes sick or if there is an emergency at school, the teacher will call you. This is an important reason to make sure that the teacher always has your current home and work telephone numbers. If you cannot be reached, one of your "emergency people" will be expected to pick up your child and provide care until you return home. Please make sure that the people on your emergency list understand this responsibility. Until the parent or caregiver arrives, the child will be kept comfortable in the nurse's office with a familiar staff person, or in a quiet area of the classroom away from classmates.
     

    Medicine 

     
    Ordinarily, medicine will not be administered by staff. The only exceptions to this policy will be in rare individual cases where a physician's prescription indicates that the medicine is necessary during school hours and the parents have signed a consent form in advance with a doctor's written instructions on administration of such medication. We also need a doctor's note on file to administer inhalers or epi pens. No aspirin or other non-prescriptive medicines will be administered by staff. PLEASE BE SURE THAT MEDICATIONS ARE NOT EXPIRING AND REPLACE THEM AS NEEDED.
     

    Sunscreen

     
    Sunscreen should be applied at home, if possible, especially for children attending a morning program. Sunscreen may be applied at school with written parental authorization, especially for children attending extended day. Please label the sunscreen / sunblock with your child's name and give it to the teacher so he/she can store it in a secure location.