14 Maple Street
P.O. Box 841
Belchertown MA 01007



Illness & Attendance

Home 5 Illness & Attendance
Please remind your child to report to the school nurse if they have been injured or are not feeling well. Your child should not assess their own illness or evaluate their own injury during the school day without consulting the school nurse and their parent or guardian.  The nurse will contact the parent or guardian. 
Children need to feel well to learn.  While every cold, ache and cough shouldn’t keep your child home, sometimes being in school is not wise. A frequent cough can be exhausting for your child and a distraction to the class.
If your student has a fever > 100, he or she will need to go home.
Your child must be fever free for 24 hours, without medication (ibuprofen or acetaminophen), before returning to school.  They should also be feeling well enough to participate in all school activities for the school day.
If your child has an extended illness or injury > 5 days please contact the nurse to discuss your child’s return to school.
Please provide a note from your child’s Primary Care Provider if your child has had an illness or injury that would restrict them from participating in Physical Education class or a sport they are involved in.
Please notify the school nurse if your child is diagnosed with a contagious illness such as strep throat, chicken pox, pink eye, or the flu.  For strep throat and pink eye, your child needs to be on antibiotics for 24 hours before returning to school.
When your child is well enough to return to physical education or sports following an injury or illness, a note of clearance from their Primary Care Provider must be on file as well as any restrictions he or she may have until full recovery.
Please provide a note from your child’s healthcare provider if your child has had surgery (including oral surgery) or a procedure.  This note should include specific details regarding any restrictions or that the student is cleared without any restrictions.
Please remember that your child cannot be dismissed to anyone who is not listed on the emergency card.
Is this your child’s first school experience?  I am sure it is going to be a very positive adventure.  I would like to share some advice in the event of your child getting sick at school.  Please have a plan in place for you or someone to be able to pick your child up if they become sick at school and/or need to be out of school the next school day.  We understand many parents work, so this plan may alleviate some stress at those most inconvenient times. 
Do you know why school kids get sick more often?
Does it seem as if your child is sick all the time?  In the early school years, your child’s immune system is put to the test.  After all, young children in large groups are breeding grounds for the organisms that cause illness.  We know that the average child who first enters a school setting will get about 12 infections (either colds, or gastroenteritis) per year.  As the years go by, the child develops immunity or protection against these infections and is sick less often.  This is a common situation. Here’s why infectious illness is so common—and what your child can do to stay healthy in school.
How Infections Spread
Many childhood illnesses are caused by viruses.  All it takes is a single child to bring a virus to school for the spread to begin.  Consider this common scenario… a child who has a cold coughs or sneezes in the classroom… The children sitting nearby inhale the infected respiratory droplets and other cold spreads.  Or perhaps a child who has diarrhea uses the toilet and returns to the classroom without washing his or her hands.   Illness-causing germs might spread from anything the sick child touches to the other children who touch the same object and then put their fingers in their mouths.
Hand Washing Is Their Best Defense
Frequent hand-washing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stay healthy in school.  Remind your child to wash his or her hands before eating and after using the toilet, blowing his or her nosed, or playing outside.  Suggest soaping up for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
Other School Health Tips
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze (cough into your elbow)
  • Keep your hands away from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Don’t share water bottles, food or other personal items.
Of course, it’s also important for your child to eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, and stay current on his or her vaccinations — including a yearly flu vaccine. 

Children learn best when they are alert, fit, happy, and healthy.

If your child is going to be absent from school for any reason, you must call the absentee line.  If we are not notified, we will call home, work, or emergency numbers until we are able to verify your child’s absence.  This procedure is for the protections and safety of your child.  Please call the absentee number 323-0428 ext. 3 at any time, day or night, prior to your child being tardy or absent.
Your child will need a note from his/her health care provider to return to school if he/she has been absent for 5 or more consecutive school days.
Children who have had a communicable disease are required to present a physician’s slip for re-entry into school.  Students being treated for Strep Throat or Conjunctivitis (pink eye) must remain out of school for 24 hours after medication has begun.  This will prevent re-infection.
Please keep all sick children home, especially if they are exhibiting symptoms of sore throat, consistent cough, stomach ache with diarrhea, and fevers (100 degrees and over).  Also if your child has a rash, please have them seen before sending them to school.  Your health care provider will diagnose if your child’s rash is contagious.  You will also need a note from your health care provider stating your child was seen for this rash and may or may not return to school.
A student with a fracture, splint, stitches, glue, steri-strips or cast is not allowed outside for recess without a MD note for fresh air only and is not allowed to participate in PE class without MD note.  When your child is able to resume normal activity, another note from your MD is required.
Suggestions on caring for your sick child
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of rest.  Ten to eleven hours are recommended
  • Encourage fluids such as water, soup, juice, freeze pops
  • Help your child relax; read a story, give lots of tender loving care
  • Wash hands frequently with warm soapy water
  • Cough into the elbow
  • Keep a child’s environment tobacco-free
  • Minimize time spent with other children who have colds and flu symptoms
  • A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for children ages 6 months and older
  • Serve a balanced diet with many fruits and vegetables
  • During and after an illness it is a good time to clean your child’s bedroom and linens and change their toothbrush

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