Medication and Health

A child who is not well cannot concentrate on school work. Many childhood illnesses spread easily in the closed school environment. If your child is unwell, keep him/her at home until they have fully recovered.

SICKNESS | ACCIDENT AT SCHOOL
If a child is sick at school the child will be taken to the sick bay to be seen by the staff member responsible for first aid and the parents will be contacted if warranted.  All head injuries are reported to parents.  If parents cannot be contacted the nominated emergency contact person will be contacted.  If parents or emergency contact persons are uncontactable, the school will act in the best interest of the child.

MEDICATION
Parents are requested not to provide children with medication to self administer. The school office will administer medication to students upon written permission from the parent/guardian. Parents must complete and sign a Student Medication Request Form and provide this to the school office. In accordance with the requirements of the Health (Drug & Poisons) Regulation (NSW), medication must be provided in its original pharmacy labelled container which has the original pharmacy label with the student’s name, dosage and time/s to be taken.

Appropriate equipment for administration e.g. medication measures, should be supplied by parents. Please ensure that the student has received a dose of this medication at home without ill effects.

IMMUNISATION CERTIFICATES
In accordance with the NSW Public Health Act 1991, parents of children starting school must present an Immunisation Certificate prior to the child commencing school. This Immunisation Certificate reminds and encourages parents to have their children immunised against diseases that can be prevented by immunisation. The Immunisation Certificate also helps identify children who have not been immunised. This means that if there is a disease outbreak, non-immunised children will have to stay at home at the notification of NSW Health.

To be completely immunised, your child needs vaccines for the following seven diseases:

  • diphtheria
  • tetanus
  • whooping cough
  • poliomyelitis
  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella

During the year the NSW Government’s School Medical Service conducts medical examinations at school for things such as hearing and eyesight. Parental permission is required for this.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS
It is important that parents notify the school office of any medical conditions, allergies or any change to a medical condition experienced by their child. This information is essential in the event of a serious accident or illness at school.

ASTHMA
Students with asthma must notify the school office and provide an annually updated Asthma Action Plan for their child. This plan will be kept on file and must be updated with any changes to the child’s condition. Puffers should be provided by the parent/caregiver and clearly labelled with the child’s name.

ILLNESSES
Some common childhood diseases will keep your child at home. These include:

Chicken Pox

  • Time from exposure to illness: 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Symptoms: Slight fever, runny nose, and a rash that begins as raised pink spots that blister and scab. Can be more severe in pregnant women and newborns.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? Until fully recovered – for at least 7 days after spots appear and until the blisters have all scabbed over.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Immunisation is available for children over 12 months old. It is recommended for people over 12 years who are not immune

Measles

  • Time from exposure to illness: About 10 to 12 days after first symptoms, and 14 days until the rash develops.
  • Symptoms: Fever, tiredness, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes for a few days followed by a red blotchy rash that starts on the face and spreads down the body and lasts 4 to 7 days.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? For 5 days after rash appears. (Notifiable Disease)
  • How can I help prevent spread? Immunisation (MRR) at 12 months and 4 years. Contacts who are not immune should not attend school or work for 14 days.

German Measles (Rubella)

  • Time from exposure to illness: 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Symptoms: Often mild or no symptoms; mild fever, runny nose, swollen nodes, pink blotchy rash that lasts a short time. Can cause birth defects if pregnant women are infected.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? Until fully recovered or at least 5 days minimum exclusion.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Immunisation (MMR) at 12 months and 4 years of age.

Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

  • Time from exposure to illness: 7 to 20 days.
  • Symptoms: Starts with runny nose, followed by persistent cough that comes in bouts. Bouts may be followed by vomiting and a whooping sound as the child gasps for air.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? For 14 days from the start of the illness or until they have had 5 days of a 10-day course of antibiotics
  • How can I help prevent spread? Immunisation at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months and 4 years of age. A special antibiotic can be given for the patient and close contacts. Unimmunised contacts may be excluded from child care until the first 5 days of a special antibiotic has been taken.

Head Lice

  • Time from infestation to eggs hatching: Usually 5 to 7 days.
  • Symptoms: Itchy scalp, white specks stuck near the base of the hairs, lice may be found on the scalp.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? No, as long as headlice management is ongoing.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Family, friends and classroom contacts should be examined and managed if infested.

Impetigo

  • Time from exposure to illness: 1 to 3 days
  • Symptoms: Small red spots change into blisters that fill with pus and become crusted; usually on the face, hands or scalp.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? Yes, until treatment starts. Sores should be covered with a watertight dressing. Depends on severity and location.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Careful hand washing.

Mumps

  • Time from exposure to illness: 14 to 25 days.
  • Symptoms: Fever, swollen and tender glands around the jaw.
  • Do I need to keep my child at home? Until fully recovered - at least 10 days after swelling occurs. In some cases your child may need to supply a medical certificate to return to class.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Immunisation (MMR) at 12 months and 4 years of age.

Conjunctivitis

  • Time from exposure to illness: 1-3 days.
  • Symptoms: The eye feels scratchy, is red and may water. Lids may stick together on waking.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? Yes, while there is discharge from the eye and until treatment has been effective.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Careful hand washing; avoid sharing towels. Antibiotics may be needed.

Gastroenteritis

  • Time from exposure to illness: Depends on the cause: several hours to several days.
  • Symptoms: A combination of frequent loose or watery stools, vomiting, fever, stomach cramps, headaches.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? Yes, for at least 24 hours after diarrhea stops.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Careful hand washing with soap and water after using the toilet or handling nappies and before touching food.

Glandular fever

  • Time from exposure to illness: 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Symptoms: Fever, headache, sore throat, tiredness, swollen nodes.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? No, unless sick.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Careful hand washing, avoid sharing drinks, food and utensils and kissing.

Hand, foot and mouth disease

  • Time from exposure to illness: 3 to 7 days.
  • Symptoms: Mild illness, perhaps with a fever, blisters around the mouth, on the hands and feet, and perhaps the nappy area.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? Yes, until the blisters have dried.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Careful hand washing especially after wiping noses, using the toilet and changing nappies.

Hepatitis A

  • Time from exposure to illness: About 2 to 6 weeks
  • Symptoms: Often none in small children: sudden fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes), dark urine, pale stools.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? Yes, for 2 weeks after first symptoms or 1 week after onset of jaundice.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Careful hand washing; close contacts may need to have an injection of Immunoglobulin; immunisation recommended for some people.

Meningococcal disease

  • Time from exposure to illness: 2 to 10 days.
  • Symptoms: Sudden onset of fever and a combination of headache, neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and rash
  • Do I need to keep my child home? Seek medical help immediately. Patient will need hospital treatment.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Avoid sharing drinks. Close contacts should see their doctor urgently if symptoms develop, and may need to have a special antibiotic.

Ringworm

  • Time from exposure to illness: Varies (may be several days).
  • Symptoms: Small scaly patch on the skin surrounded by a pink ring.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? Yes, until the day after fungal treatment has begun
  • How can I help prevent spread? Careful hand washing

Scabies

  • Time from exposure to illness: New infections: 2 to 6 weeks: reinfections: 1 to 4 days
  • Symptoms: Itchy skin, worse at night. Worse around wrists, armpits, buttocks, groin and between fingers and toes.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? Yes, until the day after treatment has begun.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Close contacts should be examined for infestation and treat if necessary. Wash linen, towels and clothing worn in the past 2 days in hot water and detergent.

Scarlet fever

  • Time from exposure to illness: 1 to 3 days
  • Symptoms: Sudden onset sore throat, high fever and vomiting, followed by a rash in 12 to 36 hours
  • Do I need to keep my child home? Yes, until at least 24 hours of treatment has begun and the child is feeling better.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Careful hand washing. Sick contacts should see their doctor.

Slapped cheek (Erytherma infectiosum, Fifth disease, Parvovirus B19)

  • Time from exposure to illness: 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Symptoms: Mild illness; fever, red cheeks, itchy lace-lake rash and possibly cough, sore throat or runny nose. Can cause foetal disease in pregnant women.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? No, most infectious before the rash appears.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Careful hand washing; avoid sharing drinks

Worms

  • Time from exposure to illness: several weeks.
  • Symptoms: itchy bottom.
  • Do I need to keep my child home? No.
  • How can I help prevent spread? Careful hand washing. Whole household should be treated. Wash linen, towels and clothing worn in the past 2 days in hot water and detergent.

The health information above is a summary of information provided by the NSW Department of Health. It is offered as a guide only. The school will, however, act on the exclusion times stated unless advised otherwise by the NSW Department of Health. Please contact your local public health unit, community health centre, pharmacist or doctor.