Tustumena Elementary Newsletter

February 8, 2019

Too Sick for School?


Cold/Flu/Strep throat season is here. You do not want your child to miss school; but neither do you want to send a sick child to school to endanger others as well. When should your child stay home? Here are a few guidelines for you to 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.

Diarrhea and vomiting make children very uncomfortable, and being near a bathroom becomes top priority. If your child has an episode 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 with a doctor’s permission return to school.

Measles (or Rubella) is a viral infection that attacks a child’s respiratory system, causing a dry, hacking cough, general weakness, inflamed eyes, and fever. If these symptoms appear, keep your child at home and consult your doctor right away to avert more serious complications. If it is confirmed as measles, please let the school know so we may be alert to symptoms appearing among other children at school. The measles rash of tiny hard red bumps will appear on the child’s face, behind the ears, and down the body. Your doctor may advise you to keep your child home for several days after the rash has disappeared.

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 is best to keep your child home until your doctor says it is all right to return to school.

Ear infections, unless properly treated, can cause permanent hearing damage. Here again you should follow the 24 hour rule for fever and antibiotic therapy.

Lice and mites, once brought into a home or school, can quickly produce an epidemic of itching and scratching. Lice are tiny parasites (like ticks) that thrive on the warm damp scalps of children and feed by sucking blood from the scalp. Caution your child (ren) against sharing anybody else’s combs, brushes, or clothing, especially hats. Mites are tiny insects in the same class as spiders and ticks; they irritate the skin and cause scabies. If your child becomes a “host” to lice or mites, check with your doctor or school nurse for the most effective way to disinfect your child and your home or environment.

Let work together to keep our school clean and healthy for our children! If you have any questions, please call my office 907-260-1372. I am available Tuesdays and Wednesdays 845 am-345pm.


Claudette Schlegel, RN