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Absence and Illness

Absence and Illness

Regular attendance at school is one of the keys to any child achieving their full potential and we try to encourage this at all times at Woodthorpe Primary School (please see the 'Mind the Gap' document at the bottom of this page for information on how the impact of how even short absences can impact on your child and their education). We do, however, acknowledge that there are occasions when it is best that a child refrain from school to both promote a quick recovery and limit the spread of any infection.

 

School will always follow the latest published guidance when dealing with any illness or infection. The guidance below is provided by Public Health England and forms the basis of procedures in school.

 

If your child is ill please use the following information to assist you in deciding how to proceed in relation to attendance at school. If your child is not going to attend school please contact us before 9 a.m. on the first day of illness on our absence hotline 01904 554230 and make us aware of the symptoms/diagnosis so that we can consider if we need to take any further action within school. We may contact you further if we need any additional information to clarify the situation. Please do not hesitate to contact school should you wish to discuss your specific circumstances further.

Good Hygiene is vital for infection control

Handwashing

Always wash hands after using the toilet, before eating or handling food, and after handling animals. Cover all cuts and abrasions with waterproof dressings. If your child has a cut or graze on their hand(s) please cover with a waterproof dressing before attending school on a morning wherever possible.

 

Coughing and sneezing

Coughing and sneezing easily spread infections. Children and adults are encouraged to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. Spitting is discouraged at all times.

 

Vulnerable children and adults

Vulnerable children

Some medical conditions make children vulnerable to infections that would rarely be serious in most children, these include those being treated for leukaemia or other cancers, on high doses of steroids and with conditions that seriously reduce immunity. Schools and nurseries and childminders will normally have been made aware of such children. These children are particularly vulnerable to chickenpox, measles or parvovirus B19 and, if exposed to either of these, the parent/carer should be informed promptly and further medical advice sought. It may be advisable for these children to have additional immunisations, for example pneumococcal and influenza.

 

Adults - pregnancy

The greatest risk to pregnant women from infections comes from their own child/children however there are some specific risks from:

  • chickenpox
  • German measles (rubella)
  • slapped cheek disease
  • measles

 

which can be found in any environment.

Any pregnant female should be aware of the dangers of these infections and seek medical advice if they have any concerns.

 

Illnesses and Recommended Absence Periods

The tables below detail recommended periods for children to be kept away from school for a range of illnesses and this is what we would expect parents to comply with to minimise the risk of spreading any infection unnecessarily.

 

Rashes and skin infections

Infection or complaint

Recommended period to be kept away from school, nursery or childminders

Comments

Athlete’s foot

None

Athlete’s foot is not a serious condition. Treatment is recommended

Chickenpox

Until all vesicles have crusted over

Inform school asap as action for pregnant staff should be considered

Cold sores, (Herpes simplex)

None

Avoid kissing and contact with the sores. Cold sores are generally mild and self-limiting

German measles (rubella)*

Four days from onset of rash

Preventable by immunisation (MMR x2 doses).  Inform school asap as action for pregnant staff should be considered

Hand, foot and mouth

None

Contact your local HPT if a large number of children are affected. Exclusion may be considered in some circumstances

Impetigo

Until lesions are crusted and healed, or 48 hours after starting antibiotic treatment

Antibiotic treatment speeds healing and reduces the infectious period

Measles

Four days from onset of rash

Preventable by vaccination (MMR x2). See: Vulnerable Children and Female Staff – Pregnancy

Molluscum contagiosum

None

A self-limiting condition

Ringworm

Exclusion not usually required

Treatment is required

Roseola (infantum)

None

None

Scabies

Child can return after first treatment

Household and close contacts require treatment

Scarlet fever

Child can return 24 hours after starting appropriate antibiotic treatment

Antibiotic treatment is recommended for the affected child

Slapped cheek/fifth disease. Parvovirus B19

None (once rash has developed)

See: Vulnerable Children and Female Staff – Pregnancy

Shingles

Exclude only if rash is weeping and cannot be covered

Can cause chickenpox in those who are not immune, ie have not had chickenpox. It is spread by very close contact and touch. If further information is required, contact your local PHE centre. See: Vulnerable Children and Female Staff – Pregnancy

Warts and verrucae

None

Verrucae should be covered in swimming pools, gymnasiums and changing rooms

 

 

Diarrhoea and vomiting illness

Infection or complaint

Recommended period to be kept away from school, nursery or childminders

Comments

Diarrhoea and/or vomiting

48 hours from last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting

E. coli O157 VTEC Typhoid* [and paratyphoid] (enteric fever) Shigella (dysentery)

Should be excluded for 48 hours from the last episode of diarrhoea. Further exclusion may be required for some children until they are no longer excreting

Further exclusion is required for children aged five years or younger and those who have difficulty in adhering to hygiene practices.

Children in these categories should be excluded until there is evidence of microbiological clearance. This guidance may also apply to some contacts who may also require microbiological clearance. Please consult your local PHE centre for further advice

Cryptosporidiosis

Exclude for 48 hours from the last episode of diarrhoea

Exclusion from swimming is advisable for two weeks after the diarrhoea has settled

 

Respiratory infections

Infection or complaint

Recommended period to be kept away from school, nursery or childminders

Comments

Flu (influenza)

Until recovered

 

Tuberculosis

Always consult your local PHE centre

Requires prolonged close contact for spread

Whooping cough (pertussis)

Five days from starting antibiotic treatment, or 21 days from onset of illness if no antibiotic treatment

Preventable by vaccination. After treatment, non-infectious coughing may continue for many weeks. Your local PHE centre will organise any contact tracing necessary

 

Other infections

Infection or complaint

Recommended period to be kept away from school, nursery or child minders

Comments

Conjunctivitis

None

If an outbreak/cluster occurs, consult your local PHE centre

Diphtheria 

Exclusion is essential. Always consult with your local HPT

Family contacts must be excluded until cleared to return by your local PHE centre. Preventable by vaccination. Your local PHE centre will organise any contact tracing necessary

Glandular fever

None

Head lice

None

Treatment is recommended only in cases where live lice have been seen

Hepatitis A

Exclude until seven days after onset of jaundice (or seven days after symptom onset if no jaundice)

In an outbreak of hepatitis A, your local PHE centre will advise on control measures

 

 

Immunisations

 

Immunisation status should always be checked at school entry and at the time of any vaccination. Parents should be encouraged to have their child immunised and any immunisation missed or further catch-up doses organised through the child’s GP. For the most up-to-date immunisation advice see the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk or the school health service can advise on the latest national immunisation schedule.

 

Two months old

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Hib (DTaP/IPV/Hib)

Pneumococcal (PCV13)

Rotavirus vaccine

One injection

 

One injection

Given orally

Three months old

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Hib (DTaP/IPV/Hib)

Meningitis C (Men C)

Rotavirus vaccine

One injection

 

One injection

Given orally

Four months old

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Hib (DTaP/IPV/Hib)

Pneumococcal (PCV13)

One injection

 

One injection

Between 12-13 months old

Hib/meningitis C

Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) Pneumococcal (PCV13)

One injection

One injection

One injection

Two, three and four years old

Influenza (from September)

Nasal spray

or one injection

Three years and four months old or soon after

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio (DTaP/IPV or dTaP/IPV)

Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

One injection

 

One injection

Girls aged 12 to 13 years

Cervical cancer caused by human papilloma virus types 16 and 18. HPV vaccine

Two injections given 6-24 months apart

Around 14 years old

Tetanus, diphtheria, and polio (Td/IPV)

One injection

Meningococcal C (Men C)

One injection

 

Source: Public Health England ‘Guidance on infection control in schools and other childcare settings’ published September 2014

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