Childhood illness is an inevitable part of school life. It can be difficult to know how long to keep your child off for while they recover. If your child has been sick, they cannot return to school after a sickness, or tummy bug, for a minimum of 48 hours after the last bout of sickness. This helps us to monitor the spread of infectious illnesses; helping us to keep illness from the rest of the classes.
For information about common childhood illnesses, please follow the link below to the NHS website for further guidelines.
Medications in School
Parents are generally encouraged to schedule their child’s medication so that they do not need a dose during the school day. However, if your child does need medication during school hours, please note we have to follow the guidelines below:
- A form must be completed. Please speak to the office. Please do not give medication to your child to hand in.
- Only prescription medication can be in school.
- Medication must be issued by the doctor and be in its original container, labelled with your child’s name.
Scarlet Fever is a contagious bacterial infection that mostly affects young children. It is easily treated with antibiotics. The first signs of scarlet fever can be flu-like symptoms, including high temperature, a sore throat and swollen neck glands (a large lump on the side of your neck).
A rash appears 12 to 48 hours later. It looks like small, raised bumps and starts on the chest and tummy, then spreads. The rash makes your skin feel rough, like sandpaper. On white skin the rash looks pink or red. It may be harder to see on brown and black skin, but you can still feel it. A white coating also appears on the tongue. This peels, leaving the tongue red, swollen and covered in little bumps (called “strawberry tongue”). The rash does not appear on the face, but the cheeks can look red. The redness may be harder to see on brown and black skin.
Contact a GP if your child:
- Has Scarlet Fever symptoms
- Does not get better in a week (after seeing a GP)
- Has Scarlet Fever and Chickenpox at the same time
- Is ill again, weeks after Scarlet Fever got better – this can be a sign of a complication, such as Rheumatic Fever
- Is feeling unwell and has been in contact with someone who has Scarlet Fever
Scarlet Fever is very easily spread. Check with a GP before you go in. They may suggest a phone consultation.
What to do if you feel your child seems seriously unwell:
As a parent, if you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgement. Contact NHS 111 or your GP if your child is getting worse.
Children with Scarlet Fever should stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others. They can return to school/nursery after 24h of antibiotic use, if they do not have a fever any more. If no antibiotics have been administered, the individual will be infectious for 2 to 3 weeks and should be excluded for this period.
Invasive group A Strep Infection
In very rare occasions, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause an illness called invasive Group A Strep (iGAS). The initial signs of iGAS are the same as for other severe infectious diseases. As a parent, if you feel that a child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgement. Here is some general advice for parents.
Contact NHS 111 or your GP if:
- Your child is getting worse
- Your child is feeding or eating much less than normal
- Your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration
- Your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38°C, or is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39°C or higher
- Your child is very tired or irritable
Call 999 or go to A&E if:
- Your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
- There are pauses when your child breathes your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
- Your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake