Medical Conditions

Head Lice
Lice outbreaks are common among school children and any child may become infested. It is crucial for the adult(s) in a child’s life to remain calm and matter-of-fact in the process of clearing up the infestation. This reassures the child so they can view the experience as a nuisance and that it can be controlled. If you find evidence of lice on your child, please notify your school nurse immediately. Your school nurse will help you with the procedures for treatment and will be vigilant with other students in the school setting. Tempe Union High School District nurses have prepared a checklist for you to use in eradicating lice. Careful shampooing with a special shampoo called Pediculicide and removal of all “nits” or eggs is the effective treatment. The school nurse must readmit students that have been treated. Please call the nurse to make arrangements for re-entry to school. Remember that although direct head to head contact is the usual method of transmission, kids get head lice, schools do not. Following treatment, your child is not permitted to ride the bus until checked by the school nurse.

Instructions and Checklist for Treating Head Lice

  • Shampoo hair with lice shampoo. Note if directions say to apply to wet or dry hair and follow package directions directly as written. Do not apply cream rinse after using lice shampoo.
  • Dry your child's hair thoroughly. Under a bright light, remove nits using a nit comb, fingernails, and/or tweezers. Drape a towel over your child's shoulders and place newspaper on the floor to catch removed nits. Carefully fold and discard papers after nit removal and wash the towel immediately.
  • Check every family member for nits/lice as needed. Person who have shared the child's bed should be treated immediately. For treatment of children under age five (5), please consult a physician.
  • Machine-wash all clothing, bedding, and mattress covers used by the child in the last 5 days using hot water
  • Place any pillows the child has used into a plastic bag and seal it tightly for 14 days (2 weeks). A rolled-up towel in a pillow case can be used as a temporary pillow.
  • Any items that cannot be washed (stuffed animals, hats, headphones, hair ornaments, etc) should be sealed for 14 days or dry cleaned. Place sealed items in direct sunlight, if possible.
  • All hair items (combs, brushes, etc) should be discarded or boiled in water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Vacuum mattresses, carpets, and upholstered furniture thoroughly. Discard the vacuum bag in outside garbage immediately. Careful vacuuming is crucial to lice removal and eliminates the need for toxic lice sprays.
  • Notify any parents of children who have been in close contact with your child (sleepovers, contact sports, etc).
  • Repeat shampooing with head lice product as per the package instructions.

MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staph Aureus
This skin condition commonly appears as an infected pimple, boil, or spider bite and can worsen if not treated immediately. The infected area will appear red, warm to the touch, swell, be painful, and present discharge at the infection site. MRSA is spread by skin-to-skin contact, contact with drainage from the nose of an infected person, or contact with contaminated razors, soap, clothing, towels, etc. MRSA and staph infections have been around for decades and can be treated effectively if detected early.

Preventing MRSA (and many other common infections) can be easily done by practicing proper and thorough personal hygiene.

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer regularly.
  • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
  • Avoid contact with other people's wounds and bandages.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.
  • Wipe down surfaces of exercise equipment before and after use.

Scabies
Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by a tiny, eight-legged, burrowing mite. The presence of the mite leads to intense itching in the areas of its burrows which can cause bacterial skin infections. The tiny burrows (short, wavy, dirty-looking lines) contain the mites and their eggs. These sores and burrows are seen commonly around finger webs, creases in wrists and elbows, belt lines, and genitals of men and lower buttocks of women. In infants, the head, neck, palms, soles and buttocks may also be infested. Mites are usually transmitted by direct skin-to skin-contact, infested clothing, and infested bed linens. The mite can survive off of the body for a few days. If you find evidence of scabies on your child, please see your healthcare provider for treatment and contact your school nurse immediately.

Is it a Cold or the Flu?


Symptoms Cold Flu
Fever Rare Very characteristic (lasts 3-4 days; temps between 102-104 degress)
Headache Rare Prominent
General Aches/Pains Slight Usual, often severe
Fatigue/Weakness Mild Can last 2-3 weeks
Extreme Exhaustion Never Early and prominent
Stuffy Nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore Throat Common Sometimes
Chest Discomfort/Cough Mild/Moderate Common and can become severe
Complications Sinus Congestion/Earaches Bronchitis and/or pneumonia; can be life-threatening
Prevention None known; personal hygiene Annual vaccination; antiviral medications
Treatment Over-the-counter medications (temporary relief) Antiviral prescription medications