Sick Child Guidelines

6 years ago

The Johnson School staff realize there are times when it is in the best interest of your child to keep him/her home from school due to illness.  We must try to provide a healthy environment for all students and staff members in the school.  Young children are notoriously good at spreading germs. Therefore, the goal of the sick child guidelines is to assist the parent/guardian with the decision to keep their child home from school due to illness or infection.  

Students should not attend school if:

·      The student has a temperature. The student may return to school after having a normal temperature for at least 24 hours while not taking any fever reducing medications (ex. Tylenol or Motrin).

·      Antibiotics are prescribed. The student may return to school after taking the antibiotics for a minimum of 24 hours and without a temperature over 100 degrees F for at least 24 hours without taking any fever reducing medications.

·      They seem tired/lethargic, pale, with little appetite, and generally "not him/herself”.

·      The student is vomiting. The student may return to school approximately 24 hours after symptoms resolve, and is able to tolerate a normal diet.

·      The student has diarrhea. The student may return to school approximately 24 hours after symptoms resolve, and is able to tolerate a normal diet.

·      The student is diagnosed with a communicable disease or illness. *  (ex: Influenza, Pneumonia, Strep Throat, Conjunctivitis, Pertussis, head lice, Chicken pox (Varicella), impetigo, scabies).  Please contact your school nurse before sending your child back to school.  

·      The student has an undiagnosed rash.  A rash may be indicative of many things, frequently of illnesses that are contagious.  Therefore, a student will be excluded from school until a physician evaluates and determines the nature and contagiousness of the rash.  A note is required from the physician upon return to school.

·      The student has severe cold symptoms, upper respiratory infection, a persistent cough, a runny nose that they cannot manage by themselves &/or contain with tissues, or other symptoms that would interfere with effective school participation. **

*A note from your physician may be required for your child to return to school if diagnosed with a contagious illness or hospitalized due to an illness. (ex. influenza, pneumonia)  Please check with the school nurse prior to returning to school if you have any questions. 
**Your child’s physician can help you determine if your child is able to return to school, however it is important to make sure they are truly feeling better and able to make it through 6+ hours of the school day.   If they still seem tired, pale, with little appetite, not tolerating solid foods, and generally "not him/herself", PLEASE do not send them to school.  With viral illnesses it may take longer before your child is well enough to return to school.

Nurse's Notes

6 years ago

Health Office News! 

Cheryl DiLisio  RN, BSN, NCSN                                         

Nurse's office direct phone: 781-581-1600 x4 with 24/7 voicemail access
Nurse's office direct fax: 781-593-3937 

*Effective communication between the Health Office and parents is extremely important in order to help your child in the event of an illness or injury. You may leave a message any time (24/7) with any information we need to be aware of regarding your child. I will return your call as soon as possible. We are better able to care for your child if we have the specific information available.   Also, please make sure the home phone, work and cell numbers in the parent portal of School Brains are the most recent and up to date. 

*Reporting an absence to the Main Office: 
Please call #781-581-1600 to report your child absent. All calls must be before 8:30 am each day your child will not be in school. You may leave a message if your child is sick or injured and the secretary will forward this to the Health Office. Please note your child's symptoms on the recording if they are ill with a fever or other contagious illness.  This will allow us to track multiple illnesses in a classroom or in a group of students and inform parents if a classroom is has a particular concern.

Classroom Infection Prevention

6 years ago

Remember the 24 Hour rule of thumb!  

Students may return to school after the following:

After 24 hours without a temperature (and without taking fever reducing medications such as Tylenol or Advil/Motrin)

After 24 hours without nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (and tolerating a normal diet for at least 2 solid meals)

After 24 hours of receiving medication (such as antibiotics, eye ointments) 

Students should NOT attend school if: 

They have an undiagnosed rash.  A rash may be indicative of many things, frequently of illnesses that are contagious. Therefore, a student must be seen by a physician to evaluate and determines the nature and contagiousness of the rash.  

They have a red eye with discharge/pus or mucous.  Pink eye often is itchy or "feels like something is in the eye".  The student must be treated with an eye ointment/antibiotic for 24 hours at lease before returning to school. 

They have been to the ER or Hospital for any illness or injury.  The student must return to school with a note from the MD allowing for return to school and any necessary modifications or restrictions.  

While your child’s physician can help you determine if your child is able to return to school, it is important to make sure that they are truly feeling well and able to make it through 6+ hours of the school day. 

If they still seem tired, pale, with little appetite, not tolerating solid foods, and generally "not him/herself", please consider keeping them home from school.  Please read our Sick Child Guidelines to help you make that determination.  Some viral illnesses may take longer before your child is well enough to return to school.

We also encourage you to strongly consider keeping your child home if they appear to be ill.  By sending your child to school if you are concerned they are not feeling well, you are potentially exposing other students, and our staff, to a communicable illness.  This ripple effect exposes classmates and then their siblings and other family members to the illness.

Let's Stay Healthy!!

5 years ago

Studies have shown that school absenteeism due to illness is reduced when children practice good hand washing.  Please teach, model, and encourage your child to wash their hands frequently and especially after coughing or sneezing, before and after meals, after using the bathroom, and after playing outside. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze!  

Physical Exams!

5 years ago

Grade 3 Students receive a letter in September regarding mandated physicals required for all students before entering fourth grade next year.  The physical exam must be performed within the present school year.  Physicals dated September of the current school year, or after, are be accepted for this requirement.  A physician signed exam form is accepted, however a printed health summary from an online health system does not meet the state criteria. 

Pre-School students are required to submit the most recent physical exam. Remember to send a copy of your child's latest physical to the Health Office after each annual visit. When your child is ready for Kindergarten it will be a lot easier for you as the majority of the necessary forms will already be completed and turned in!

Life Threatening Allergies

6 years ago

We have many students at our school that have Life Threatening Allergies to 

Tree nuts, Peanuts, wheat, milk, eggs, and many other food items.  Strict avoidance of the allergen is the ONLY was to prevent a life threatening allergic reaction. 

**Please remember that ALL our classrooms are NUT FREE regardless of whether there is a student in that classroom/grade with a nut allergy. This includes products which state "may contain traces of" nuts/peanuts/tree nuts or "manufactured in a facility which processes" nuts/peanuts/tree nuts.  

Due to the nature of peanut/nut products, it is more challenging to prevent contamination of surfaces in the classroom, cafeteria, bathrooms and other areas in the building. 

*If the product states "may contain traces of nuts" or "manufactured in a facility which processes nut products", then those products would not be allowed in the classrooms. As an added safety measure, in the cafeteria students will be asked to sit at a designated table if their lunch contains any peanut/nut products. After eating, they will be given a moist towelette to remove any food particles from face and hands before leaving the cafeteria.  There are many new products available as "peanut butter alternatives", we would ask you to make sure the ingredients in these products are safe for our classrooms and for our students with life threatening allergies.   If your child brings in a peanut butter alternative for snack or lunch, you must label the outside of the bag to make our staff aware of the contentsIf it looks like peanut butter, we must treat it as peanut butter.   Also, please consider that Sun butter products, which are made with sunflower seeds cause a concern for our students with allergies to them. The product contains no nuts, but still may not be appropriate for your child's classroom.  If you have any questions about ingredients, please call the Health Office and we can assist you.  

Click HERE to read the Nahant Public Schools- Life Threatening Allergy Planning Guidelines

Learn more about Food allergies and how to give an Epinephrine injection if needed. is a website created to increase food allergy awareness in the school community. It highlights basic facts about food allergies and the constant need for prevention and preparedness.  There are great videos and other resources to help increase your understanding of Life Threatening Food Allergies. 


5 years ago

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Signs and Symptoms of Flu

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms that usually start suddenly, not gradually:
  • Fever
  • chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in young children than in adults.
Click HERE to visit the CDC's website for Influenza information and updates. 

Access to downloadable forms & documents

Medical Forms and Parent information/resources are now available to download or print at home! See page block for available forms.

Head Lice

5 years ago

Unfortunately many children will have at least one case of lice detected in the classroom before the year is over. We at the Johnson school want to help keep your child and our classrooms free of head lice.  We suggest you read the information on the links below and discuss it with your entire family.  This will tell you how lice live and breed and how they spread.

READ School Health Matters "Facts of Lice"!!  

Click HERE to read Head Lice Parent letter 
National Association of School Nurses head lice fact sheet

Meningococcal Disease

6 years ago

At first, Meningococcal disease can look strikingly similar to a cold or flu, but in just a matter of hours it can be deadly.  Consider Vaccinating your child against Meningococcal Disease.   Read the commonly asked questions about the disease and find out more information.  Talk to your child's physician about the vaccination at your next visit.  

Measles Info

6 years ago

Measles Information:

{Information is obtained from the CDC website and literature distributed by the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics and other medical sources}  

Link to CDC/AAP guidance handout for parents

Links to CDC website for measles information and symptoms

Link to CDC information for parents: "Measles and the Vaccine (shot) to Prevent it"

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes (conjunctivitis), and a sore throat. It is followed by a rash that starts at the head and then spreads down over the rest of the body.  The fever can persist, reaching extremely high temperatures, the rash can last for up to a week, and the cough can last about 10 days.  About three out of 10 people who get measles will develop one or more complications including pneumonia.

The symptoms of measles generally appear about 7 to 14 days after a person is infected.  Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth and on palate. Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit.  After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.  There is no drug to cure measles.

How Measles Spreads:

Measles spreads through the air by airborne respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected. Infected people can spread measles to others from 4 days before to 4 days after the rash appears. The virus remains viable for up to 2 hour on surfaces and in the air.  You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even if the person has gone! 

People in the United States still get measles, but it's not very common. That's because most people in this country are protected against measles through vaccination once they reach 12 months of age. However, since measles is still common in parts of Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa, measles is brought into the United States by people who get infected while they are abroad.
Vaccine Recommendations:

boy getting shot from nurse

Click here for CDC vaccination recommendations

The MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) Vaccine is the best way to protect against getting measles.  The risk of the MMR vaccine causing serious side effects is very rare.   Getting the MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles!!

The CDC recommends all children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Children can receive the second dose earlier as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.  

Health Screenings

6 years ago

State mandated screenings for Hearing, Vision, Height/Weight/BMI, and scoliosis!

In October we start our mandates health screenings with Hearing and Vision screening in Kindergarten and continued up through the grades.  We will then move on to Postural Screening for Scoliosis for Grades 5 & 6 and will conclude with Growth Screening for Height/Weight/BMI in Grades 1 & 4  only.  You will receive more information as we go along in regards to the BMI and Postural screening procedures.

Grade 5 & 6 students will be participating in the annual Postural Screening for Scoliosis program.  This is a mandated program for students.  Students in these grades will receive a letter with information soon.  The program is scheduled for the week of December 8th during their gym class.  Details about the program and how to prepare will be in the letter to parents. If you receive a referral letter as a result of the screenings, please contact your pediatrician and discuss scheduling a follow up exam as soon as possible. If you do not receive a referral letter, your child has passed the guidelines set by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  

The Growth Screening Program is a mandated program of the MDPH for students in school in grade 1 & 4 only.  In children and teens, the BMI is used as a tool to assess underweight, at risk, and overweight children.  Children's bodies change over the years as they mature.  This is why BMI for children is gender and age specific and is plotted on a gender specific growth chart by pediatricians.  Children in Grades 1 & 4 will receive information from the Health Office with more about the Growth Screening program and how it occurs in school.  You will also receive a document with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about Body Mass Index Screening.  

Click HERE to read the letter to go home to parents.
Click HERE to read a Fact sheet provided by the MA Nutrition and Physical Activity Unit of MDPH regarding BMI.

Protect the Ones You Love!   Childhood injuries are preventable.  

6 years ago

Injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and younger. But most child injuries can be prevented.  Parents and caregivers can play a life-saving role in protecting children from injuries.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), unintentional injuries—such as those caused by burns, drowning, falls, poisoning and road traffic—are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children in the United States.  Each year, among those 0 to 19 years of age, more than 12,000 people die from unintentional injuries and more than 9.2 million are treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries.   Injuries due to transportation were the leading cause of death for children.  Injuries due to falls were the leading cause of nonfatal injury.  Click HERE to go to CDC website about preventing childhood injuries.  

Keeping your child healthy and safe is always a top priority!  This information will help you recognize, respond to, and minimize the risk of concussion or other serious brain injury.  Parents often call with many questions about "What is a concussion?" and "How can I tell if my child has a concussion?"  The CDC has great resources for parents and schools.  

CDC website Heads Up To Parents to learn all you want to know about concussions!

CDC Fact Sheet for Parents- This sheet has information to help protect your children from concussion or other serious brain injury.

Tick-Borne Illnesses and Lyme Disease

5 years ago

How can you protect yourself from Ticks?

Check out the CDC's website for valuable information about Ticks. Prevention and Tick-borne illnesses.  

Lyme Disease information:

Lyme Disease Association website has great information about Lyme disease, symptoms, other tick-borne diseases, removing ticks properly and much more!  

Click HERE to view a Lyme disease symptom list

Click HERE to view the ABCs of Lyme disease

EEE and West Nile Virus

5 years ago

We are reminded to be vigilant about protecting ourselves from mosquitoes, EEE, and West Nile virus.   

All residents are urged to continue taking personal precautions to protect against mosquito-borne illnesses, including Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV).  These include using insect repellent, covering exposed skin when outside, and avoiding outdoor activities between the hours of dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.  If weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks if outside event for a short time during peak active times for mosquitoes.  

Choosing an Effective Repellent:

When choosing a repellent, look at the active ingredient on the product label. Repellents that contain DEET work very well against mosquitoes.  In general, higher concentrations of DEET dont work better, they simply last longer.  You should use less than 30 percent DEET on kids and infants over 2 months of age.  Whatever product you choose, be sure to read the label to see what the concentration of DEET is and how often it should be reapplied.  

Learn more about how to protect yourself at website.