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A Message from The Health Center – Please Read Thoroughly To Protect Your Child and Others!!!

The purpose of this letter is to provide information about when to keep your child home from school. A child who is sick will not be able to perform well in school and is likely to spread the illness to other children and staff. Childhood illnesses are spread easily when children are in close contact in the school and dorm setting. If your child becomes ill at school and the health center feels your child is too sick to benefit from school or is contagious to other children, you will be called to come and take him/her home from school.

When should your child stay home? Here are a few guidelines we ask that you follow:

Fever is an important symptom; when it occurs along with sore throat, an earache, nausea, listlessness or a rash, your child may be carrying something very contagious. PLEASE keep children home during the course of a fever and for an additional 24 hours after the fever has passed. A bad cough or cold symptoms can indicate a severe cold, bronchitis, flu or even pneumonia. Some children suffer one cold after another all winter long and a run-of-the-mill cold should not be a reason to miss school. But if your child is not acting “right”, has difficulty breathing, or is becoming dehydrated, it could be serious. Check with your physician right away. Remind your child to cover coughs and sneezes with the bend of their arm/inner elbow- in their sleeve. Diarrhea and vomiting make children very uncomfortable, and being near a bathroom becomes top priority. If your child has repeated episodes of diarrhea and /or vomiting accompanied by fever, a rash, or general weakness, consult a doctor and keep your child out of school until the illness passes. 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. Sometimes nausea and headache are present too. Twelve (12) to forty-eight (48) hour after the onset of scarlet fever a rash may also appear. A child with either strep throat or scarlet fever should be kept at home and treated with antibiotics, as prescribed by a doctor. After 24 hours on an antibiotic, a child is usually no longer contagious and may return with a doctor’s return to school note. A runny nose or “leaky faucet” is the way many children respond to dust, pollen or simply a change in season. If it isn’t a common cold, then it may be an allergy and allergies are not contagious. Don’t keep the child at home. Remind your child to use a tissue to wipe their nose, discard tissue, and immediately wash hands!

Thank you for your help during this time and please call the Health Center if you have any questions or concerns at 512-206-9136.