Our Community - Children's Health and School

 


 

Sick Children

From time to time children do get sick. It is sometimes unavoidable.

When your child is sick please base your decision on keeping your child at home with the health of other students and staff in mind. It is best to avoid spreading germs and bugs at school. In saying this, it is very important that we limit the number of days children have away from school. Average attendance at school is considered to be around 90%, while good and expected attendance is suggested to be over 95%. Did you know that 95% attendance is two and a half days absent each term, or 10 days (two weeks) per year. 

Ten days off a year adds to 6 months of missed learning over 10 years of schooling. There are only eight years of primary school!

If your child is sick please notify the school in writing via the Skoolbag smart phone app (apple or andriod), Facebook private message, email or hand written note to the classroom teacher. 

We ask that family holidays be scheduled for school holiday times. Please see the Department of Education Website for term dates.
 
 

 

Flu and Colds

During winter children at school are more likely to get sick. We encourage parents to keep their children at home to prevent the spread of colds and flu. If you do decide to keep your child home, do not forget to notify us. You can do this in writing via the Skoolbag smart phone app (apple or andriod), Facebook private message, email or hand written note to the classroom teacher. Please see your General Practitioner for all health information.
 
Colds, or upper respiratory tract infections, are the most common cause of illness in children and adults. Most colds are caused by a virus. There are over 200 types of viruses that can cause the common cold, which is why it’s not possible to be immunised against a cold. Colds are more common in the winter months. Cold weather by itself does not increase the chance of getting a cold. People are in closer contact with each other at this time of year, because they stay indoors, and so are more likely to infect each other. The viruses that cause colds are spread by sneezing, coughing and hand contact.
 
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread by fluids produced during coughing and sneezing, or by direct contact with those fluids on surfaces. Most cases of influenza occur within a six- to eight-week period during winter and spring. The incubation period for flu (the time it takes to develop symptoms after an exposure to a sick person) is usually two days. People with flu can be infectious shortly before signs and symptoms commence and for up to five to seven days after becoming sick. Immunising people who are at risk of complications from the flu is the most important method we have to reduce the number of flu infections. Although annual immunisation is the best way to avoid spreading the flu, another effective way to protect ourselves and others from illness is good personal hygiene.

Some of the principles of good personal hygiene include:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Throw your tissue in a plastic-lined rubbish bin after use.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, and if water is unavailable use an alcohol-based hand cleaner after you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs spread that way.
  • Don’t go to work if you are unwell and don’t send your children to school or childcare if they are unwell. 
Download a brochure with ideas to help prevent flu and other infections or visit the Healthy WA (Department of Health) website for The Common Cold or The Flu.

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Medical Conditions

There are some medical conditions where chidlren need to stay home and recover before coming back to school. The information contained in these documents is sourced from the Better Health Channel and Public Health WA.
Some fact sheets and parent information is listed below for some of the more common childhood illness and medical conditions that appear in schools. Always consult you doctor or health professional and please note that this information is general and not specific to your child. 
 
Some of these infections have exclusion periods where it is suggested that children stay away from school. We recommend following these guidelines to limit the spread of infections and disease.

Chickenpox - parent letter and health fact sheet

Mumps - parent letter and health fact sheet

Scabies - parent letter and health fact sheet

School Sores - parent letter and health fact sheet

Hand Foot and Mouth - parent letter and health fact sheet

Whooping Cough - parent letter and health fact sheet

 

 


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Head Lice

As head lice are easily transmitted from one child to another, it is advisable to thoroughly check your child’s hair. If lice or eggs are present, please treat and remove live lice before sending your child back to school.

What are Head Lice?
Head lice, more popularly known as Nits, are tiny insects that live on the scalp and lay eggs around the roots and on the hair of the person carrying them. They are highly contagious, moving freely from person to person. The idea that lice can jump from person to person is a myth – head lice are wingless and lack the leg structure to adequately leap large distances. They are only physically capable of crawling.

How to treat Head Lice
  • Comb the hair thoroughly with conditioner making the lice lose their grip on the hair strands.
  • Wipe the comb clean on a tissue or paper towel, Check the tissue for eggs or lice.
  • Repeat these steps four or five times, combing the entire head.
  • It is important to treat the hair for at least 30 continuous days to ensure the cylce is broken.
  • If you find lice or eggs, treat the person for head lice.
Treatment can be done with chemical insecticides that have been specifically formulated for head lice. Some strains of head lice are resistant to certain chemical compounds and you may need to consult your pharmacist for more options. If you choose not to use insecticides combing through conditioner every two days until there have been no new eggs or lice found for 10 days.
 

Preventing head lice
There is no product available that prevents head lice. However, tying long hair back, not sharing hats and checking weekly using conditioner and comb can help prevent the spread.
                                              
Things to remember
  • Head lice have been around for thousands of years and anyone can get them.
  • Using the conditioner/comb method once each week will help your family control head lice.
  • Head lice do not carry disease.
Where to get help
  • Your doctor or chemist
  • Your local government health department or child health clinic 

Top 10 Myths About Head Lice

Lice can jump.
Lice do not have wings. They cannot fly and they cannot jump. Instead, they move by crawling.
 
Head lice like dirty hair and bad personal hygiene or untidy homes.
Getting head lice has absolutely nothing to do with personal hygiene or the cleanliness of a home. And washing your hair will not get rid of lice, which cling to hair follicles, nor nits (lice eggs), which are extremely sticky and cling to hair.
 
An itchy head means your child most likely has head lice. 
Itchy scalp is one of the common symptoms of head lice. But there can be other causes of itchy scalp, such (dandruff) or dry skin.   

Head lice prefer long hair.
Lice do not care whether hair is short, long, clean or dirty.

You can get head lice from pets (and vice versa).
Lice cannot be transmitted from pets, and pets cannot get them from people.

Head lice carry and transmit diseases.
The good news is that lice have not been shown to spread disease.

To kill the lice out your clothes in the freezer.
Lice do not survive very long away from a host. The best way to handle a lice infestation in your environment is to simply vacuum any items and areas you think your child may have rested her head on.

Kids are most likely to get head lice in school.
Kids tend to get head lice from places and activities where they are more likely to have direct head-to-head contact or share personal items, such as combs, bedding, towels and hair accessories.

Children who have head lice should be isolated .
Since they cannot jump from one person to another, transmission can be prevented by taking such precautions as
not sharing personal items and avoiding close contact.
 
All treatments are safe and effective for kids.
Always check with your doctor before using any products on your child's scalp.