The Independent Grammar School: Durham
EYFS – Dealing with Illness
The school’s Pupils with Medical Conditions Policy (available from the school) sets out how we will deal with children who have a range of medical conditions. This policy will also apply where appropriate to EYFS children.
This policy deals specifically with children in EYFS who become ill as there are specific requirements laid down for children in EYFS which we are committed to following. Most of these steps apply equally to older children.
If an EYFS child becomes ill at school, he/she will be assessed by staff and if necessary parents will be contacted. The child may be taken to the sick bay and enabled to lie down and rest. Staff will decide when the child is able to return to class, and will remain watchful as the pupil continues in school thereafter. If necessary, the child’s parents will be asked to collect the child.
In the case of infectious disease we will act in accordance with guidance provided at www.gov.uk/government/publications/infection-control-in-schools-poster#history and will also take advice from our School Medical Officer, Dr John McMillan.
An example letter to parents in the event of a typical infectious disease (chicken pox) is given below as an example of good practice.
We will follow our policy on the administration of medicines in relation to EYFS children. Where the administration of medicines requires medical or technical knowledge we will ensure that staff are trained appropriately either by a school nurse or by Dr McMillan.
Example Letter/Email to Parents in Cases of Infectious Disease
I am writing to you to let you know that one of our pupils has a confirmed case of chicken pox. Although this is not a notifiable illness and is common among children, and not usually serious, contact with those affected can be a concern to some people, e.g. those with low immunity or pregnant women.
What is chicken pox?
Chicken pox is a common childhood illness. Fever and cold symptoms are often the first signs of illness and are followed by the appearance of the typical rash. The rash starts as small pink bumps, often around the neck, ears, back and stomach. These develop a little water blister, which in turn becomes yellow and oozy and ultimately crusty as it dries. The rash spreads outwards to involve the whole body finally involving the lower arms and legs. People may have only a few spots or may be virtually covered with them. In children it is usually a relatively mild illness although very occasionally complications can develop.
Why should I be concerned about chicken pox?
Chicken pox can be a serious infection in people with a much-weakened immune system (e.g. patients with leukaemia or after organ transplantation). In adults, chicken pox is a more significant illness than in children and there is a greater risk of complications developing. Chicken pox in pregnancy may cause illness and be harmful to the unborn child.
What should I do now?
If your child is normally healthy, chicken pox is likely to be a relatively mild illness and no specific precautions are necessary. Symptoms usually develop 10 to 21 days after exposure. The infected person can spread infection for up to three days before the rash appears and until the last pox is crusted and dry. If your child has a weakened immune system, please contact your child’s GP or consultant and let them know that your child may have been exposed.
What should I do if I think my child has chicken pox?
If you suspect chickenpox, contact your doctor to confirm the diagnosis. Do not use aspirin or any products that contain aspirin to control fever if your child has chicken pox, as this has been associated with the development of a rare but serious disease called Reye’s syndrome.
Can my child stay in school?
Many children with chicken pox are too unwell to attend school and are more comfortable at home. Children can spread the infection to others as long as there are any spots which are not crusted and dried. Children with chicken pox should be kept off school until scabs are dry; this is usually five to seven days after the appearance of the rash. Children with spots that are crusted and dried can safely attend school. Your GP will be able to answer any further questions that you might have about chicken pox.