It is my goal to keep the school environment as healthy as possible for all children & staff.
A child will be sent home if he or she has:
1) a temperature of 100 degrees or higher
2) a rash/skin eruption, with or without drainage, of unknown origin
3) active vomiting or diarrhea
4) suspected contagious illness
5) a serious injury or appears obviously ill.
Please be aware that I encourage students to stay in class when possible.
I do not routinely notify parents of minor illness or injury.
Guidelines for deciding if you should send your child to school:
1) Children with a temperature above 100 degrees must be fever-free for 24 hours (without the benefit of medication) before returning to school.
2) If a child vomits or has diarrhea during the night or in the morning before school, that child should be kept at home for 24 hours from the last episode.
3) If a parent or guardian is called by the school nurse, please pick up your child in a timely manner. I will only call home if she feels the child really needs to leave school.
4) Encourage your child to eat a nutritious breakfast and lunch as this prevents many stomachaches, headaches, poor concentration, and fatigue.
5) Encourage your child to get adequate rest for the same reasons as # 5.
6) Teach your child to wash their hands frequently - before and after meals, after using the bathroom, etc. And teach them to cough and sneeze in their elbow or shirt.
7) Please feel free to call or email me, if you need me to check on your child for any reason during the day. (713 778 3315;firstname.lastname@example.org )
Please update your emergency card throughout the school year! Often parents will have changes in work numbers, cell phone numbers, emergency contacts, etc.
We encourage that all medications be given at home, but for those children requiring medications in school, a Medication InSchool Consent form must be completed by your child’s physician. HISD requires all meds (over the counter & prescription) have a Pharmacy label. A copy of the Medication in School Consent form is on the HoustonISD portal or I can email it to you or fax it to you. Medication that is to be given twice a day should be given before school and before bedtime. Medication that is to be given three times a day is generally given at home before school, after school, and at bedtime.
How do I Know when My Child is too Sick to Come to School?
This is a question I get frequently.
I go by the principle of activities of daily living (ADL). ADL are the things we do every day; i.e. eating, sleeping, getting dressed, taking a bath, going to the bathroom, etc. If your child cannot perform their normal ADL, then they are too sick to come to school.
Fevers: Any child who has a temperature of 100 degrees or greater should remain at home until normal temperature has been maintained for 24 hours without medication.
Colds & Coughs & Flu: The difference between a cold & the flu is a fever (see above). They are all Upper Respiratory Infections (URI) & usually viral. All URI are contagious but they are so common we do not exclude from school if they do not have a fever. We encourage hand washing & sneezing or coughing into your elbow or shoulder. Go by the ADL principle to decide if your child is too sick to come to school.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye): Pink eye can be viral, allergic, or bacterial. Most of the time it will resolve without treatment. If it is bacterial it is contagious & must be medically treated. I suspect bacterial when only one eye is red with crust or discharge. Anytime there is pain with red eyes I suspect bacterial infections.
Gastrointestinal Upsets: Diarrhea &/or vomiting are tough ones because sometimes children have diarrhea or throw up once and then they are perfectly fine. Children need to stay home if they vomit or have diarrhea more than once or they cannot eat or perform other ADL. If they are having both, they will need to stay home until it passes.
Lice: Students will be excluded from school if they have an active case of lice. We encourage students not to share coats, hats, combs, brushes, or other hair accessories. Students do not need to miss any school – shampoo hair with OTC medicated shampoo, comb nits out & send to school the next day. Repeat the process in 10 days to make sure all the little bugs are gone for good.
Skin Problems: Rashes, bumps, & boils, oh my! Skin problems are such a part of childhood. If it looks like it might be contagious, take your child to the doctor.
Medication: Students on short term medication or over the counter (OTC), i.e. antibiotics, decongestants, etc will not be given medicine at school. Those medicines need to be given by the parents before or after school. Medications that need to be given every day or are for emergencies need to have a special form filled out by the Dr. & signed by the parent. Please see the nurse for the form. Children are not allowed to carry medication with them to school.
One of the primary concerns at our school is promoting & maintaining a healthy environment for all our children. You can support us by following these basic guidelines.
Please contact me if you have any question or need more information.
Elizabeth P. Connelly, Herod Elementary School Nurse