We base our guidance regarding recommended periods for pupils to be kept away from school from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and have listed some of the common illnesses below.
Further information can be obtained by visiting the HPA website.
Rashes and skin infections
|Recommended period to be kept away from school|
|Chickenpox||Until all vesicles (spots) have crusted over|
|Cold sores (Herpes
|German measles (rubella)||Four days from onset of rash|
|Hand, foot and mouth||None|
|Impetigo||Until lesions are crusted and healed, or 48 hours after commencing antibiotic treatment|
|Measles||Four days from onset of rash|
|Ringworm||Exclusion not usually required|
|Scabies||Pupil can return after first treatment|
|Scarlet fever||Pupil can return 24 hours after commencing appropriate antibiotic treatment|
|Slapped cheek/fifth disease. Parvovirus B19||None (once rash has developed)|
|Shingles||Exclude only if rash is weeping and cannot be covered|
|Warts and verrucae||None|
|Flu (influenza)||Until recovered|
|Whooping cough||Five days from starting antibiotic treatment|
|Other Infections / Illnesses|
|Head lice||None. However, if pupils are seen with live lice, parents will be informed and given the option to collect their child early for immediate treatment. See below for more guidelines|
|Mumps||Exclude pupil for five days after onset of swelling|
|Sickness and diarrhoea||48 hours from last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting|
PARENTS’ GUIDE TO HEAD LICE
What is it?
Head lice are tiny insects that live on the head and in the hair. They are very easily passed between children who tend to work and play closely together at school and at home.
What do they look like?
They are flat, wingless creatures about 1-3 mm long, (they cannot jump, fly or swim) usually black or brown, which attach to the base of the hair with hooked feet. They lay large numbers of eggs (nits) which can be seen as tiny white/ brownish ovals glued firmly to the hair close to the scalp.
Who is affected?
It is a widespread problem and is likely to affect almost all school children. Head lice may be caught by direct contact or by sharing combs, brushes, hats etc. Whole families are often infected.
What are the symptoms?
Itchiness—beware of a child itching their scalp. Sometimes there are tiny red spots on the scalp. You may also see the lice or nits—favourite places are behind the ears and at the nape of the neck.
How is it treated?
- Chemical free treatment for head lice – a simple, safe and inexpensive method of treatment which should remove the eggs, both dead and active, and the live lice:
- Purchase a cheap bottle of hair conditioner
- Smother the hair with the conditioner
- Wrap the head in plastic wrap/shower cap and allow the head to “steam” for 10 minutes
- Remove the wrapping and comb through the hair with a fine tooth nit comb. Dip the comb in a mixture of vinegar and water
- Chemical shampoos prescribed by the GP or bought at the chemist can also be used and are very effective if used properly. Your pharmacist will be able to advise treatments currently available.
- Natural remedies such as tea tree oil have also been recommended but again do need to be used properly.
- An electrically charged comb could be used but this must be used regularly.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
Checking your child’s hair and brushing it regularly with a fine toothed comb (nit comb) can lead to prevention. Checking the hair on a regular basis is essential.
What happens if my child is found to have head lice?
If you find your child has head lice please keep them at home and treat them immediately. Any absence from school for treatment will only be authorised for one morning or afternoon session. Most treatments are applied then washed off after 30 minutes. Once treated, your child should return to school. If we notice your child has head lice whilst at school we will contact you to give you the option of either collecting them early to treat or to wait until the end of school. This will always be dealt with in a discreet and sensitive manner.
If your child does have head lice it is advisable to check and treat the whole family and thoroughly wash all bedding.
CHECK your child’s hair regularly. Please tie up long hair tightly!