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Common Childhood Illnesses

Chickenpox
Symptoms: Fever and skin rash that begins on the chest, back, underarms, neck and face. The rash starts out as red bumps, which turn into small blisters within several hours, and then scab over after a few days.
Exclusion: Until day 6 after the rash began or sooner if all the blisters have dried into scabs.

Common Cold
Symptoms: Acute upper respiratory signs, including watery eyes, sneezing, running nose, general feeling of illness.
Exclusion: No restriction unless ill. Communicable shortly before symptoms begin and for the duration of the acute symptoms.
Note: Spread person to person by direct contact with secretions from the nose and mouth. Also from hands, tissues or other items that may have secretions on them.
 
Conjunctivitis
Symptoms: Pink or red eyeball, with or without pain or redness of the eyelids, may have clear, watery eye discharge or white or yellow eye discharge (pus).
Exclusion: Bacterial conjunctivitis with pus: exclude until child has been examined by his/her health care provider and until 24 hours after antibiotic treatment begins. Other conjunctivitis without pus: no exclusion necessary.
 
Fifth Disease (Human Parvovirus B19)
Symptoms: Fifth Disease is a mild, common rash that occurs most often in children.The characteristic rash causes an intense redness of the cheeks (may appear as slapped cheeks) and sometimes a lacy red rash on the trunk and limbs. Occasionally the rash may itch. The child is usually not very ill and the rash resolves in 7 to 10 days. However, if the person is exposed to sunlight or heat the rash may come back. Once a person recovers from a parvovirus infection, they develop lasting immunity and are protected against future infection. An adult who has not previously been infected with parvovirus B19 can be infected and have no symptoms or can become ill with a rash and joint pain and /or joint swelling. The joint symptoms usually go away in a week or two, but may last several months. The disease is spread by coughs or sneezes with contaminated droplets traveling into the air and another person inhales them or touches them.
 
Exclusion: Students are most contagious before the onset of the rash and are unlikely to be contagious after the rash has occurred. Therefore, students do not need to be excluded from school. The incubation period is thought to be 4 to 14 days.
 
Note: Pregnant women (or women trying to become pregnant) and parents of children who have an impaired immune system, sickle cell anemia, or other blood disorders should consult their health care providers about the risks of this exposure.
 
Head Lice
Symptoms: Itching of the head or neck. Look for: 1) crawling lice in the hair, usually few in number; 2) eggs (nits) glued to the hair, often found behind the ears and at the back of the neck; and 3) scratch marks on the head or back of the neck at the hairline.
Exclusion: Until first treatment is completed and no live lice or nits are seen.
 
Influenza
If you suspect that your child has the flu please notify the Wilshire Park Attendance Line at 612-706-1204.  If your child has a chronic health condition such as asthma or diabetes you should check with your child’s doctor to see if your child should get an antiviral medication.  Your child can return to school when they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of a fever reducing medication (Tylenol or Advil) AND they feel well enough to participate in normal school activities. The Minnesota Department of Health has set up a phone line that you can call if you have questions about flu symptoms:  1-866-259-4655.  This call is toll free.  You can also visit the CDC website at www.flu.gov.  You can also call the School Health Office at 612-706-1205.
 
Symptoms: Chills, body ache, headache, fever, sore throat; followed by cough, running nose, and possibly stomach ache.
Exclusion: Until well, usually 2-7 days. Should be without fever for 24 hours.
Note: Virus spread directly through coughing, sneezing, and contact with nose or throat discharges of patient. Possibly airborne.
 
Strep Throat
Symptoms: Sudden onset of fever, sore throat, and swollen glands. Nausea and vomiting may occur with severe cases. In young children strep sometimes starts with a stomachache, then a sore throat, and they may not always have a fever. A rash may occur with a strep throat. This is called scarlet fever. The rash is a very fine, raised rash that may feel like sandpaper. The rash most often appears on the neck, chest, in the folds of the armpit, elbow, groin, and in the inner thigh. Later on, there may be peeling of the skin of the fingertips and toes.
Exclusion: Until 24 hours after antibiotic treatment begins and the child is without fever for 24 hours.