Health Guidelines

Student Illness or Injury at School

We will promptly attempt to notify you or a person you have authorized us to notify if we have knowledge that your child has been injured or becomes ill at school. One of the forms we ask you to complete at the beginning of each school year is a form authorizing designated school employees to consent to medical treatment in case your child is injured or becomes ill at school or school –related activity and requires emergency treatment. We, of course, will call you in such a situation and will also call for emergency assistance. It is important, however, that you understand that the school district is not responsible for any cost of medical treatment or services provided after an injury at school or a school related activity. We cannot and will not use public funds to pay individual student medical expenses.

Chronic Illness/Health Conditions

Because your child may have a medical condition that requires extra attention/care from the school personnel, it is important the parent/guardian visit with school nurse on the student’s campus. The school nurse will then inform others of care as needed. Up-to-date addresses and telephone numbers are imperative to the school as emergency care can arise at any time during school hours.

Communicable Disease

Children should only be in school when they can fully participate in their educational program. Therefore, children with the following should stay at home and or will be referred home by the nurse or other school personnel:

  1. If a child has a fever over 100 degrees, parents must keep the child home until he/she is fever free for 24 hours without the aid of medication.
  2. If a child has diarrhea, parents must keep the child home for 24 hours after the condition ends. Diarrhea is 3 or more episodes of loose stools in a 24 hour period.
  3. If a child vomits, parents must keep the child home for 24 hours after the condition ends.
  4. A child with a persistent cough and/or excessive (discolored: green, yellow) discharge from the nose or eyes should stay home until the condition subsides.
  5. Under state and local Health Department regulations, if your child has certain medical conditions, he/she must be excluded from school for a period of time. All communicable diseases must be reported to the school office, who will, if the disease is reportable, report it to the Health Department. Exclusion shall continue until the readmission criteria for the conditions are met. The conditions and readmission criteria can be found at this link.

By following the above guidelines, we hope to provide a healthy environment for everyone in the school community.

Bacterial Meningitis Information

English (Ingles) Version

Espanol (Spanish) Version

Prevention and Control of Pediculosis (Head Lice)

Screening

Active head lice infestation may create a difficult learning environment for the affected student(s); therefore, the district maintains a program to identify and eliminate head lice. Children shall be screened by the school nurse or other school official with consideration for privacy and confidentiality. Mass screenings are disruptive and initiate unnecessary use of lice medication that can cause resistance, so SAISD will not conduct mass screenings unless there are two or more active cases in the same classroom within the same week. When a student is suspected of having head lice or the teacher notices excessive head scratching, the school nurse or other school official shall inspect the child. When live lice are found, the school nurse or other school official shall check the student's siblings and all known household contacts on the same campus. A parent can call and request that their child be checked, but they cannot request that another child be checked. It will be determined by the school nurse and campus administrator if a classroom check will be performed upon a parent request. DO NOT DISCUSS A STUDENT’S LICE ISSUE WITH ANYONE OTHER THAN A CUSTODIAL PARENT OR GUARDIAN.

Notification

Letters shall be sent to the parents of students with active infestations only. If an entire classroom is screened following the above mentioned requirements, then the letter needs to be sent home with each student.

Exclusion

Children identified with live lice shall be sent home or excluded from the classroom until treatment is completed by the parents or guardians. The school nurse or other school official shall provide instruction to the parent and/or guardian regarding identification of active infestation, treatment procedures, and readmission guidelines.

Treatment

It is recommended that the parent contact their child’s physician for treatment options and that prescribed medication directions be strictly followed. If they do not have a regular physician, then it is recommended that a FDA approved, over-the-counter lice product be used---again strictly following package directions. It is also important that a lice comb is used to remove the nits and dead lice. Retreatment is recommended in 7-10 days.

Readmission

Children who are sent home for head lice infestation must be free of live lice and virtually all nits must be removed from the hair before the student may return to school. When a student returns to school (presumably on the next day), the student shall be re-examined. If live lice are found, the student will be sent home again. The previous procedure will be followed until the student is free of live lice and virtually all nits. When a student has missed five consecutive days of school related to lice infestation, a warning letter shall be sent to the parent to notify them that the student is immediately required to be at school. There will be no academic penalty imposed for absences.

Surprising Things You Might Not Know About Head Lice

  1. Head lice are not a sign of uncleanliness; they love clean hair because it is easier to latch on.
  2. Lice DO NOT hop, jump, or fly; the only way they can get from one person to another is direct touching, head-to-head.
  3. Lice are not passed on pets. The only place head lice can survive and thrive is on the human head.
  4. When found, most cases of head lice are already more than a month old. One sign is a red itchy rash on the back of the neck, just below the hair line.
  5. Because of use and overuse of head lice shampoos, head lice have become resistant to the products that once would kill them, so no head lice product is 100% effective, even if you follow the direction to the letter. That is why combing and nit removal is important.
  6. Removing the nits (eggs) and live lice with a special metal-tooth comb is time consuming but the most effective way to get rid of them. They do not wash out.
  7. Schools are not the most common places where head lice are spread. Sleep-overs among friends and relatives are thought to be a common way they are passed home to home.
  8. School wide head checks are not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics or the Centers for Disease Control. The most effective screening occurs when parents check their own children at home, treat if any are found, and make efforts to remove the nits.
  9. One of the biggest challenges in eliminating head lice is parents' discomfort in communicating about the problem with other parents when they find head lice, so they are more easily passed back and forth among close friends and relatives.
  10. A louse on a hat or coat is a dying louse that will not be capable of reproducing. Healthy ones stay close to the scalp until they sense another human head. They cannot survive without blood, that is why they bite.

Please check your child for lice/nits on a regular basis. "Checking" means visually observing the hair and combing it with a metal nit comb. Nits look like flakes of dandruff or droplets of hair spray. The difference is that dandruff or hair spray will come off easily when the hair shaft is shaken, whereas nits are very difficult to remove. If you see lice or nits on your child's hair, call your health care provider for advice of treatment. If you aren't sure what you are looking for please contact school office. Most children should not need to miss any school because of lice.

This note is a reminder to be vigilant in checking your child's head.

See the research:

American Academy of Pediatrics

Centers for Disease Control

Bed Bug Protocol

Bed bugs are becoming a common problem that significantly impacts our general quality of life, but they are not known to transmit disease.  The home of any person can be infested by bed bugs, regardless of ethnic background, type of home, or socio-economic status.  As this problem escalates, although rare, bed bugs may become an issue in our schools because they may “hitch-hike” on a student’s clothing, books, or backpack from an infested home.  It is important that if this happens, the school takes proactive actions to prevent infestation and stop them from spreading within the school setting.  The following are GUIDELINES that have been gathered and organized from public health agencies and academic institutions throughout the United States. 

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small insects that feed on people while they sleep.  Bed bugs do not live on a person.  Bed bugs usually hide during the day and come out to feed during the night.  Adult bed bugs have flat, rusty-red-colored oval bodies, are about the size of an apple seed, big enough to be easily seen, but often hide in cracks in furniture, floors, or walls.
A bed bug bite may develop into an itchy welt that is similar to a mosquito bite.  Bed bug bites do not transmit disease, but their bites are a nuisance and can cause significant itchiness, secondary infections, anxiety, and sleeplessness.  Infestations are also very difficult and expensive to control.  They can also be transmitted from one location to another in backpacks, clothing, luggage, books, and other items.  Bed bugs are rarely transported into a house by pets.
Actual bed bug infestations in schools are uncommon and it is necessary that the bug be identified as a bed bug which should be done by a pest management professional.  These bed bugs could be carried home by another student which can be a major concern to the school – bed bugs are very difficult and expensive to eradicate.
If students are getting bitten or bed bugs are discovered, then a licensed pest control applicator should be contacted for assistance in identifying and eradicating bed bugs. 

What if you find a bed bug on a student?

If you find a bed bug on a student, this may be an indication that the student has bed bugs in his/her home.  DON’T PANIC.  Remember, people do not become infested with bed bugs, bed bugs feed on people.  Bed bugs can crawl on or off a person or their belongings at any time.

  1. It is important to treat the child with discretion, dignity, and respect when dealing with this issue.  Remove the child discreetly from the classroom and examine their clothes and belongings.  Store their personal items in a garbage bag or plastic bin until the student leaves the school.
  2. Any bugs noticed should be removed and collected for identification.  Try to keep specimens as intact as possible in a jar or baggie.  Please do not attach them to tape.
  3. Contact the parent/guardian of the student by telephone to let them know a bug was found on the student’s belongings and recommend a home inspection by a licensed professional.
  4. It is not recommended to exclude students from school for an infestation in the home.  School closure related to bed bugs is not recommended during infestation.
  5. Notify the school custodian staff to vacuum the affected area during the end of the day cleaning routine.  Place that vacuum bag into a plastic bag/garbage bag and tightly seal for disposal (for bag less vacuums, empty the contents of vacuum into a plastic bag/garbage bag and tightly seal for disposal.  Clean the vacuum.
  6. Parents may be embarrassed and hesitant to admit having bed bugs and students may also be embarrassed and not want others to know.  Students may come to school tired, anxious, or afraid because of this problem.  Discretion in handling this situation is strongly recommended.  Schools should work sensitively with parents of any student living in an infested home to develop strategies for preventing the further spread of bed bugs.

What if you find a bed bug in the classroom?

  1. Do not allow untrained staff to identify bugs or apply pesticides on school property.
  2. Any backpacks, lunchboxes, and other items that go back and forth to school can also be inspected daily and sealed in plastic containers to prevent bed bugs from getting into them.
  3. Hard surfaces can be cleaned with standard cleaning products.
  4. Notify the school custodian staff to vacuum the affected area during the end of the day cleaning routine.  Place that vacuum bag into a plastic bag/garbage bag and tightly seal for disposal (for bag less vacuums, empty the contents of vacuum into a plastic bag/garbage bag and tightly seal for disposal.  Clean the vacuum.
  5. If bed bugs have been trapped or visualized in a classroom on multiple occasions within a short period of time, the school should call a licensed professional exterminator to inspect the classroom.  This should be arranged through the Maintenance Department.
  6. The school principal should consider notifying the affected class or classes.  See the attached letter.

Providing Education

  1. Provide education to the parent/guardian of students who have suspected infestations of the home information on the treatment of the bites, control of the infestation, and the need to use professional exterminator service in the home.
  2. Provide instruction on actions parents can take to reduce the spread of bed bugs to the school environment.  This includes:  1.  Laundering items worn outside the home first with dry heat for 20-30 minutes followed by washing in hot water and drying again in high head.  2.  Storing freshly washed clothing and other items taken daily to school in a sealed plastic bin or garbage bag until the student needs to take them outside the home.  These items should be inspected daily.  3.  Routine cleaning of all hard surfaces with normal cleaning solutions.

Treatment and Prevention

Only a trained professional, or someone under the direct supervision of a licensed professional, should perform the inspection and apply pesticide treatments to affected areas in the school building.

Information and resources gathered from:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov)
Environmental Protection agency (EPA) (http://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/)
Texas Department of State Health Services
Indiana State Department of Health
University of Kentucky (http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef636.asp)
New York City Department of Health and Mental Health (www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/vector/vector-faq1.shtml)

Contact Information:

Melissa Schumpert, RN
Health Services Coordinator

T: (325)947-3838 x530