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 diseases, the NEISD has issued the following guidelines for these conditions:


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 a yellow discharge. If your child awakens in the morning with the eyelashes stuck together with  yellow crust, he or she likely has bacterial conjunctivitis.  He must stay home from school until he has seen  a doctor,  and has begun treatment with eye drops prescribed by the doctor.  When returning to school, he 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 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 the lesions.  It appears as a blistery rash.   The blisters open and become covered with a thick, golden yellow discharge that dries, crusts 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 close contact with an infested person, or by sharing personal articles, like clothing or bed linen.  It appears as tunnel-like lines of skin eruptions or small raised, red bumps or blisters on skin.  Often appears between the folds of the skin, such as the wrists and elbows, between the fingers, and in the general beltline.   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.


Head Lice – A parasite found on the heads of people.  Spread through close contact with someone who has head lice, or by sharing personal items with someone who has head lice.  It causes itching of the scalp.  It can appear in different forms:  Nits, which are lice eggs firmly attached to the hair, are oval in shape and white.  Lice are tan to grayish white, wingless insects, about the size of a sesame seed.  They do not fly or jump.  The child must receive treatment with medicated shampoo especially designed to kill lice, before returning to school.  The household should also be treated:  vacuumed, linens washed in hot water and stuffed animals put in plastic bags for one week.  Other household members should be treated.


Fever – For an oral temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above, the child needs to stay home until the fever is gone.  If a rash occurs, check with your child’s doctor.


Diarrhea and Vomiting – Acute diarrhea is usually infectious and accompanied by other signs of illness, such as fever, nausea and/or vomiting.  The child should remain home until the diarrhea and vomiting have subsided and the child’s temperature is normal.