Infectious Diseases

General Health Conditions Infectious Diseases

In any setting where there are large groups of children, the possibility exists for exposure to disease. To control and prevent the spread of disease, the UCISD has issued the following guidelines for these conditions per the TX Dept. State Health Services:


CONJUNCTIVITIS (PINKEYE):
A viral or bacterial infection of the eye that is spread through contact with the eye discharge, often by hand contact. Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis cause redness, itching, and/or pain in the eyes, but bacterial conjunctivitis also causes yellow discharge. If your child awakens in the morning with the eyelashes stuck together with yellow crust, he/she likely has bacterial conjunctivitis. He/She must stay home until he/she has seen a physician, and has begun treatment with eye drops prescribed by the physician. When returning to school, your child must bring a note to the nurse.

RINGWORM:
A fungal infection of the skin or scalp that is spread by direct contact with a person infected by the fungus. Appears on the skin as a reddish, ring-like rash that may itch or burn. It may be dry and scaly or moist and crusted. Skin lesions must be covered when the child is in the school. If the lesions are on the scalp, the child needs to be out of school until after treatment has begun by a physician.

IMPETIGO:
A skin infection caused by bacteria, which enters through an opening in the skin. It is spread through contact with discharge from lesions. It appears as a blistery rash. The blisters open and become covered with a thick, golden yellow discharge that dries, crust and sticks to the skin. The child must stay home until antibiotic treatment has begun. The lesions should be covered while at school.

SCABIES:
A condition of the skin caused by a mite that burrows under the skin. It is spread through contact with an infested person, or by sharing personal articles, like clothing or bed linen. It appears as tunnel-like of skin eruptions or small raised, red bumps or blisters on skin. Often appears between the folds of skin, such as wrists and elbows, between fingers, and in the general belt line. The child must stay home until treatment from a doctor has begun, with medication to kill the mites. The home must also be treated at the same time as the child: vacuuming, linens, and towels washed in hot water, stuffed animals that cannot be washed stored in plastic bags for a week, and treatment of all household members is recommended.

FEVER:
For oral temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above, the child needs to stay home until the fever is gone for 24 hours without the use of medications. If a rash occurs, check with your child's physician. During the H1N1 (swine flu) caution, recommendations from DSHS are that children with a fever of 100.0 degrees Farenheight AND a cough or sore throat stay at home for 7 days, or until they are symptom free for 24 hours, whichever is longer.

DIARRHEA AND VOMITING:
Acute diarrhea is usually infectious and accompanied by the other signs of illness, such as fever, nausea and/or vomiting. The child should remain home until the diarrhea and vomiting have subsided for 24 hours, and the child's temperature is normal for 24 hours without the use of medications.

Importance of Hand Washing

Henry the Hand: Hand Washing

During the school year, we can prevent the spread of infection by encouraging students to wash their hands!!!!

Infectious microorganisms that cause disease -- bacteria and viruses -- are invisible to the naked eye. Since kids can't see these little critters on their hands, they don't think about washing them off or they may think that hand washing is just a waste of time.

That is why we need to teach the students the importance of hand washing, and remind them to do it on regular basis so that it becomes a habit. Studies show that a person's hands are the most common transmitters of disease.

Here is it how it happens:

A person with a cold coughs into his hand and then touches another student, that person then rubs his or her eyes or nose or touches his mouth, and the virus has new home. The single most important procedure for preventing the spread of infection to other people is hand washing. Also, using common sense -- not sharing food, drinks, or eating utensils -- will protect kids.

Please encourage your children to wash their hands:
  • After using the bathroom.
  • Before and after eating.
  • After playing outside.
  • If they are sick, please encourage them not to touch other kids until they feel better.