Additional Policies

Head Lice Policy and Information

Tick Policy and Information

Water Safety Guidelines

Dental Health Program

Adventure Program: Frequently Asked Questions

Head Lice Policy and Information

Our school has a no nit policy, which requires that children remain at home until all nits (lice eggs) are removed. If lice or nits are discovered at school, the parents will be called to pick up and treat the student immediately. This policy must be enforced, as it is virtually impossible for us to distinguish treated, dead nits from live nits. Please check your child carefully, treat them as needed. Notify us if you find any signs and also any other families that you and your children have been in contact with.

Some details about lice:

· Head lice infestation is NOT due to poor hygiene, since they like clean, dry scalps the best.

· Rarely do children itch. It is the parent and teacher who have just heard about a lice infestation in their child’s class who itch the most!

· Nits are laid or glued onto the hair shaft, usually about a quarter-inch from the scalp (sometimes farther). If the object can be easily moved, it is dry skin and NOT a nit.

· Incubation period is 1-2 weeks after exposure.

· Nits hatch in 8-11 days.

· A louse matures 14 days after hatching.

· The adult louse lays 12 or more nits a day.

· The adult louse lives 10-27 days – they are very hard to find and can survive 2-10 days without a host.

Some important points regarding treatment and follow-up care of head lice:

· No matter which treatment you choose, it is absolutely imperative that all nits are picked out of the hair after the product is removed. The treatment kills the bugs, but not always the eggs. The only way to be sure they will not hatch is to remove them.

· The most effective way to treat lice is to use a special medicated shampoo (a pediculicide), such as Rid or Nix, which can be purchased off most drug store shelves. Or ask your druggist for a recommendation. Do not use any product with the chemical lindane (Kwell is one such shampoo); it is a toxic pollutant that can harm children.

· Following is an herbal recipe from Dr. Anderson of Mill Valley, approved by the Marin County health nurse:

1. Mix equal amounts of eucalyptus oil (or pennyroyal oil) and garlic oil.

2. Apply to dry head; this will probably cause the scalp to sting for 15-20 minutes; then it is very comfortable.

3. Wrap securely in cloth or plastic bag.

4. Sleep overnight with cloth on.

5. Next day, wash hair and remove nits.

6. Repeat oil application and head wrapping for a second night.

· Another alternative, recommended as effective by Santa Rosa Pediatrics, is the hair gel product Dippity Do. Leave it on for 6-8 hours, wash hair with regular shampoo, rinse with apple cider vinegar and remove all nits.

· Shampoo everyone in the family, regardless of whom you see with lice or nits.

· After washing hair, end with an apple cider vinegar rinse. Rosemary oil and vinegar are natural lice deterrents, and also help with loosening the nits on the hair shafts.

· Removing the nits can sometimes be difficult, especially if they are numerous. The specially-made fine-toothed combs are NOT effective – nits are best removed one-by-one, pulled down and off the hair between finger and thumbnail.

· Shaving heads does not prevent lice; it only makes it easier to see them.

· High heat kills the nits and the adult louse. Put bedding, clothes, coats, hats and stuffed animals in a hot dryer for 30 minutes. It is effective and time-efficient to take everything to the Laundromat and use many dryers at once. (Be sure to bring clothes home in a different container.) Dry clean clothing that cannot be washed or store them in airtight, sealed plastic bags for 20 days.

· Hairbrush and combs can be sterilized with a bleach solution or the pediculicide.

· Vacuum everything well, especially places with which the head has contact. This includes furniture, mattresses and car seats/floors. It is also effective to iron mattresses.

· Don’t allow sleepovers with other children for a while.

· Repeat shampoo 7 to 10 days later, as pediculicides are not fully effective against the nits (even though the labels may say they are). The mature lice can live through a 2-week period from egg to adult, so they can also resurface. Because lice are becoming resistant to the medications, use a different type of shampoo the second time.

· IMPORTANT: Continue to inspect for nits daily for 10 days after the second treatment.

· Lice dislikes melaleuca (tea tree oil). By using shampoo, cream rinse and/or hair spray with this in it, your child will be less likely to get lice.

· With diligence, lice does not spread!

Tick Policy and Information

Ticks are everywhere, including our own backyards. With Creekside campus so close to the forested area it's possible that ticks can even find their way into our play yard, although we never have found any. While we avoid tick prone areas on Adventure Day, like long grass, it's not uncommon to find ticks crawling on the children during our Adventure days.

We do a quick 'sweep check' but simply cannot do the thorough check that the CDC recommends, on each child, every day. We strongly recommend that you follow this protocol once your children have come home for the day - additionally you will find the CDC tick information page linked below.

Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, which even includes your back yard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:

· Under the arms

· In and around the ears

· Inside belly button

· Back of the knees

· In and around the hair

· Between the legs

· Around the waist

What to Do if You Find an Attached Tick:

Remove the attached tick as soon as you notice it by grasping with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pulling it straight out. For detailed information about tick removal, see the tick removal page.

Watch for signs of illness such as rash or fever in the days and weeks following the bite, and see a health care provider if these develop. Your risk of acquiring a tick-borne illness depends on many factors, including where you live, what type of tick bit you, and how long the tick was attached. If you become ill after a tick bite, see a health care provider.

Water Safety Guidelines

· A minimum of 2 adults will always be present.

· Shallow Creeks (up to knee deep) – The number of children will be at the discretion of the teachers. As always, constant visual supervision is required.

· Lakes and bodies of still water (if higher than a child’s thigh) – A teacher will be in the water with the children – no more than arm’s length away. Life jackets will be worn.

o A maximum ratio of 1:3 will be observed.

· Swimming activities will only be allowed if a lifeguard, or trained staff, is present. Life jackets will be worn.

· At no time will children be allowed in water deeper than their shoulders.

· Beach – No more than 4 children per teacher. If 9 children are present then a third adult is added. With teacher discretion, and based on the location, and age & disposition of the children, 10 – 14 children will be the maximum on any trip. Life jackets will be worn if child is going to interact or be close to the water.

· Exploring tide pools or when near open water (on rocks for example) – requires a 1:4 ratio, or less, with no more than 4 children at a time. A teacher or adult will remain out of the water with the remaining children, within eyesight and earshot. Behavior expectations are clearly set in advance. Teacher’s experience with the children will determine if a lower ratio is best. Life jackets will be worn.

· ***Parents can opt to provide their own life jacket or flotation device built in swimsuit.

Emergency Plan

1. Teachers and adults will be within eyesight and earshot of each other always

2. Each teacher will have a whistle. In any incident requiring immediate action the teacher closest will respond, while the other adult / teacher assumes responsibility for the children not involved

3. Children learn specific calls and how to respond and we practice them regularly. Children who do not show an ability to do this must remain in close proximity to an adult.

4. A first aid kit and emergency forms are with us at all times.

5. All teachers are trained in CPR.

Dental Health Program

In order to help prevent tooth decay (cavities) among young children and improve health, our school has a toothbrushing program:

  • We follow safe toothbrushing guidelines approved for child care centers.
  • Children brush with direct supervision of our staff.
  • You will indicate whether you wish your child (Creekside students) to use a fluoride toothpaste, a non-fluoride toothpaste, or brush with water. Students at the Redwood campus will brush with a fluoride-free training toothpaste, or water. We are using the Hello products toothpaste brand. Please see your site director for more details.
  • Each child will have their own individual toothbrush, and will receive a new one at least every three months, or after an illness.

Adventure Program: Frequently Asked Questions

What does my child need to bring on adventure day?

Here is a list for what’s needed DAILY for your child to attend Adventure Day:

    • Please check the weather and dress your child appropriately for the day – layers are good! Apply sunscreen/bug spray if the sun is out. Hats are encouraged!
    • If there is a chance the ground and/or grass is wet – then rain boots – please be sure your rain boots are in good repair with no holes. Wear warm socks!
    • Your child must wear hiking appropriate shoes for Adventure Day – when it’s warm - sneakers or hiking sandals are great – please no flip flops or shoes that are not appropriate on rough terrain.
    • A hearty lunch and snack - we eat out of our lunchbox for both meals.
    • A FULL water bottle each day - Please check the water bottle when you pack a lunch.
    • Please, please, please – label everything in an EASILY VISIBLE SPOT (on backpacks – outside the pack, etc. - some parents use tape and write on that) – we are two teachers with 8 children – sorting water bottles, lunches and clothes in and out of the van – labeling makes our days SO much easier. Initials are not as helpful- we'd prefer their name for quick deciphering.

What "gear" do you recommend for the rain?

  • We get very wet and muddy during the rainy season. It’s imperative that your child has excellent rain gear to attend Adventure Day. Three hours with wet feet can make for a miserable kid. We strongly suggest ‘muck boots’ (warm and dry) and the brand Oaki Wear for rain suits. Waders with a rain jacket is preferred, but the coverall suits also work well. If providing a rain suit is financially impractical for your family, please let us know- your child can borrow a Tree House Hollow rain suit. We have a few of them and are happy to loan them out – we really want the children to be dry and comfortable on those fun but very wet days. (We also typically will get a discount code for Oaki Wear for our parents so just ask for it)

How do you account for all the children?

  • We CONSTANTLY count all of the children present throughout the day. There are 2 staff members and up to 8 children present. If the group is spread out, the staff also spreads out accordingly and is communicating with each other about how many children are in their area. The children are taught "animal calls" that we use to give directions such as: "let's go", "freeze", "come quick", and "where are you" (for checking in with children who are in bushes and the like). Children who don't respond to the animal calls will be asked to stay close to a teacher so that we can ensure everyone's safety.

What locations do you visit and how are parents alerted to location?

  • An email is sent out at the beginning of each week, alerting parents to our adventure location. We will often go to the same location for several weeks in a row so that children receive the opportunity to develop a "sense of place" and get to explore the depths of a location before moving on. We will rotate back to a location over the different seasons to see how it changes.
  • Our go-to locations are:
    • Ragle Ranch Regional Park
    • The Laguna
    • Spring Lake Regional Park
    • Howarth Park
    • Riverfront Regional Park
    • Doran Beach Regional Park
    • Armstrong Redwoods State Park
    • *Sometimes we will find a new location as well or get invited to visit a special place.

Are you really outside in all weather?

  • Yes! Our adventure program is rain or shine and our classroom can't accommodate adding children into the classroom. If there is a hazardous storm as determined by the Adventure Lead and Creekside Director, we will try to find a very sheltered outside location (think redwood trees), or may try to find a building to use for part of the day (which is more rare). You always have the choice to keep your child home if you wish. Just remember- if your child isn't well enough to be on adventure day, they are not well enough to be in the classroom either as even our classroom program goes outside in all weather! We do make every effort to find the best locations possible to balance the weather though. Adults seem to be more "affected" by the weather than children- they seem to find joy in everything.