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Weather Guidelines

School Health

Karen Moore, RN

School Nurse

Boundary County School District #101

267-5519 extension 117

When to Keep Students Home from School


Attention Parents:

The arrival of winter and cold outside tends to increase the number of students also having illnesses.  We would like to encourage to you to keep your child home if:

            1.         They have a fever over 100°

            2.         Vomiting and /or diarrhea

            3.         Severe cough and increased nasal secretions


Seek medical attention if:

            1.         Fever lasts longer than a day

            2.         Vomiting and diarrhea increases

            3.         Skin feels hot and dry

            4.         Student is lethargic

            5.         Coughing so hard that it causes the student to vomit


Always encourage hand washing!  Bring extra tissues to school and put an alcohol based sanitizer in their backpack for emergencies.  Proper nutrition is an important part of disease prevention.  Keep serving fruits and vegetables.


A few minutes outside even in the cold are good to catch some of that Vitamin D.  Just make sure they have proper footwear, gloves, and hats. 


Common Illnesses Seen at School

CANKER SORE is a small ulcer inside your mouth.  The specific cause is unknown and they are not contagious. They usually heal on their own without medical treatment.   

CHICKENPOX is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.  It causes an itchy rash and red spots or blisters all over the body.  A person is contagious from 2-3 days before the rash appears until every blister has crusted over.  Student may return to school once every "pox" has crusted over.  

COLD SORE is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1.  It causes small blisters to form on the lip or around the mouth.  They are contagious, washing your hands immediately after touching the blister and not sharing utensils, drinking cups, towels, or razors will help stop the spread.  Students may attend school but are instructed not to touch the blisters and to use good hand washing.

FIFTH DISEASE is a viral illness, with a very distinctive type rash, often called "slapped cheek disease."  You are contagious before the rash ever appears.  Student may attend school as long as they are fever free(<100 degrees Fahrenheit).  

HEAD LICE are tiny insects that live on the human body, typically found in the hair.  They spread by head to head contact or sharing clothing or personal items like hats/brushes.  Student may attend school, treatment with a lice shampoo and removal of all nits is recommended. 

IMPETIGO is a bacterial skin infection that develops red sores that can break open, ooze fluid then form a yellow-brown crust.  They may develop anywhere on the body but usually form around the mouth and nose.  Student may return to school 24 hours after topical antibiotics have been started.

INFLUENZA is a viral infection that causes fever, headache, cough, body aches, and fatigue.  It is contagious.  Students may return to school when they are fever free (<100 degreees Fahrenheit) for 24 hours without fever reducing medication. 

MENINGITIS is an infection of the coverings around the brain and spinal cord.  There are two main kinds, bacterial and viral.  Student may return to school when fever free (<100 degrees Fahrenheit) for 24 hours and with doctor OK. 

METHICILLIN-RESISTANT STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS (MRSA) is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. Most often, it causes mild infections on the skin, causing sores or boils.  Student may be in school if the infected area remains covered.

MONONUCLEOSISalso called "mono", is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EPA).  It can leave you feeling tired and weak for weeks or months.  Mono will go away on it's own without medical treatment. Student may return to school when fever free (<100 degrees Fahrenheit).

PINK EYE is redness and swelling of the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid.  It is usually not serious and goes away in 7-10 days without medical treatment.  Students may be sent home from school, especially if bacterial conjunctivitis is suspected.  Student may stay in school if not bacterial and they are mature enough to keep their hands away from their eyes and use good hand washing techniques.  If an antibiotic has been prescribed, student may return to school 24 hours after antibiotic has been started.   

RINGWORM is caused by a fungus.  It looks like a small round patch of red skin, either blistery or dry and scaly, usually in the shape of a ring.  It is very contagious and spreads through skin-to-skin contact and when things like towels, hairbrushes, and sports equipment are shared.  Student may return to school 24 hours after the start of treatment. 

SCARLET FEVER is a term used for strep throat with a rash.  It is a rough, red rash that feels like sandpaper and usually starts on the chest and abdomen.  It is accompanied by a fever and sore-throat and sometimes, bright red spots on the tongue.  Student may return to school 24 hours after antibiotics are started and fever free(<100 degrees Fahrenheit). 

STREP THROAT is a bacterial infection of the tissue at the back of the throat and tonsils.  This causes a sudden, severe sore-throat accompanied by a fever >101, pain and difficulty swallowing and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.  Student may return to school 24 hours after antibiotics are started and fever free (<100 degrees Fahrenheit).

STYE is an infection that causes a tender red lump on the eyelid.  It is usually caused by a bacterial infection in a hair follicle.  Student may stay in school.