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  • Core Contact with School Nurse Team
  • School readiness
  • Common childhood illnesses
  • Immunisations
  • Continence
  • Common Childhood Illnesses

    There are a variety of illnesses and infections that can affect young people during childhood and adolescence. To reduce this risk, it is important to maintain effective personal hygiene (including hand washing), and to ensure your child’s vaccinations are up to date. The immunisation schedule and additional information can be found under the ‘immunisations’ section within the website.

    As well as ensuring your child is looked after and treated effectively, on occasion it may be necessary to keep your child off school to prevent the spread of infection. The guidance for individual conditions are explored below, or can be viewed in an easy access table.

    Common Childhood Illnesses

    Derbyshire Handi App

    A new app has been launched to provide advice and support to parents, carers and healthcare professionals looking after children with the most common childhood illnesses.

    The HANDi app has been developed by paediatric consultants and will give you access to home care plans, as well as GP and hospital clinical guidelines, to help you provide the best support for your child and give you confidence in caring for them when they are unwell. The app describes care plans and guidance for the most common childhood health concerns, including:
    • Abdominal pain
    • Chestiness
    • Diarrhoea and vomiting
    • High Temperature
    • Problems during the newborn period

    Download the FREE App today
    Download the HANDi App for Android phones at Google Play.
    Download the HANDi App for iPhone and iPad in the App Store.

    Diarrhoea and vomiting illnesses

    Cryptosporidiosis

    Symptoms
    Abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, tiredness and nausea.
    Infectious
    Yes - Good hand hygiene recommended. Cryptosporidium is a parasite that if ingested, causes the illness Cryptosporidiosis. It is usually transmitted by drinking untreated water, via animals and their faeces, or from swimming in infected water. Maintain good hand and food hygiene, wash contaminated clothes/bedding thoroughly (high temperature).
    Treatment
    No specific treatments, but should recover within a month. Take plenty of fluids, see GP for additional management – especially if diarrhoea is severe.
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - Until the child is well and has had no symptoms for 48 hours. In addition, your child should not use a public swimming pool for 2 weeks after their diarrhoea has settled.
    For more information please visit NHS choices
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    Diarrhoea and / or sickness

    Symptoms
    Passing of frequent and watery stools and / or being sick.
    Infectious
    Varying degrees depending on specific cause. Ensure good hand hygiene, practice good food hygiene, ensure proper cleaning of contaminated items (e.g. bedding and clothing).
    Treatment
    General treatment includes plenty of fluids (aim to drink 2litres of water a day plus 200mls every time you pass diarrhoea), consider using Paracetamol/Ibuprofen for fever, aches and pains, plenty of rest, anti-vomiting and/or anti-diarrhoea medication as indicated. Your Pharmacist can help with this. If your child has more than 6 episodes in more than 24 hours seek help from your GP.
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - 48 hours from the last episode of diarrhoea and sickness.
    For more information please visit NHS choices
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    Shigella (Dysentery)

    Symptoms
    Stomach cramps, nausea and/or vomiting, fever.
    Infectious
    Yes - Good hand hygiene recommended. Do not go swimming until 48 hours symptom free.
    Treatment
    Usually clears up after 3-7 days. Drink plenty of fluids, consider Paracetamol/Ibuprofen for fever and to manage pain. AVOID anti-diarrhoea medication as this can make symptoms worse. You should see GP if you your child has blood in their stools.
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - depending on specialist advice - You will need to contact your local Health Protection Unit for further advice. Usually your child is required to stay away from school for 48 hours after their last episode of diarrhoea/vomiting and symptoms.
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Other infections

    Cold Sores

    Symptoms
    Small blisters that develop on the lip caused by the herpes simplex virus
    Infectious
    Highly contagious and easily passed from person to person by direct contact
    Treatment
    Usually clears up on their own within 7-10 days, however you can use an antiviral cream from your local pharmacist.
    Exclusion from school
    No
    For more information please visit NHS choices
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    Conjunctivitis

    Symptoms
    The whites of the eyes become red, itchy and sore. The eyes may become “sticky” if caused by an allergy.
    Infectious
    Highly contagious. Children with conjunctivitis should not share towels and facecloths. Good hand hygiene is also important.
    Treatment
    As advised by your GP – for severe cases, antibiotic eye drops may be indicated, as may an anti-histamine if caused by an allergy.
    Exclusion from school
    No
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Glandular Fever

    Symptoms
    High temperature, swollen glands in the neck, sore throat, fatigue.
    Infectious
    Found in saliva – spread by kissing, coughing and sneezing, sharing infected eating and drinking utensils.
    Treatment
    No cure, but treat symptoms: Drinking plenty of fluids, taking painkillers, resting, then increasing activity when feeling better. Antibiotics and/or steroids occasionally needed in severe cases.
    Exclusion from school
    No - return to school when feeling well enough, low risk of spreading the infection if relevant precautions made (not sharing utensils, or kissing!)
    For more information please visit NHS choices
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    Hand, Foot and Mouth

    Symptoms
    Usually consist of sore throat, high temperature and loss of appetite. After a few days mouth ulcers will appear and usually red spots which develop into blisters will appear on the hands and feet.
    Infectious
    Hand, Foot and Mouth can easily be passed on from person to person. It's spread in coughs, sneezes and poo. To reduce the risk of spreading encourage your child to wash hands often, use tissue when coughing or sneezing to trap germs, avoid sharing of cups, cutlery, towels and other household items.
    Treatment
    Should go away on it's own after 7-10 days. You may want to speak to your pharmacist to help relief pain.
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - Keep your child off school whilst they are feeling unwell but as soon as they are feeling better send them back to school
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Head Lice

    Symptoms
    Head lice are small insects that can make your head feel itchy. The only way to find out if someone has head lice is by finding live lice or head lice eggs known as nits.
    Infectious
    Head lice are extremely contagious and can spread quickly from person to person. Direct contact with someone who has head lice needs to be avoided.
    Treatment
    You can treat head lice by using lotions and sprays available to purchase from pharmacies. You can also buy a special fine-toothed comb to remove head lice and nits.
    Exclusion from school
    No
    For more information please visit NHS choices
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    Hepatitis A

    Symptoms
    Flu like symptoms, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pains, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine and pale stools, fever.
    Infectious
    Usually passed when something that has been contaminated with the stools of an infected person, so good hand hygiene is recommended.
    Treatment
    No specific treatment and most people recover within a couple of months. See GP for diagnosis (blood test needed)
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - until 7 days from onset of Jaundice or other symptoms.
    For more information please visit NHS choices
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    Meningitis (Bacterial or Viral)

    Symptoms
    Early signs- Pain in the muscles, joints or limbs, unusually cold hands and feet, shivering, pale or blotchy skin and blue lips. Early symptoms - severe headache fever, nausea, vomiting, feeling generally unwell. Later symptoms – unable to tolerate bright light, stiff neck, rapid breathing rate and blotchy red rash that does not fade or change when you hold a glass against it, confusion and drowsiness.
    Infectious
    Generally low, but can be spread through sneezing, coughing, kissing, sharing infected utensils, cutlery and toothbrushes or prolonged contact with an infected person. Vaccinations are available for different strains (see ‘Immunisations’ section of website).
    Treatment
    Viral meningitis should get better on its own after 7 – 10 days, plenty of rest, painkiller, fluids and possibly anti-sickness medications. Bacterial meningitis usually needs treatment in hospital (antibiotics given directly into the vein) for about a week. In all cases, suspected meningitis is usually confirmed by a test in hospital. If any doubts, contact 999 or 111 for immediate advice.
    Exclusion from school
    No - return to school when recovered.
    For more information please visit NHS choices
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    Mumps

    Symptoms
    Usually develops 14-25 days after infected. Swollen glands either side of face(below ears), headaches, joint pain, feeling sick, dry mouth, mild abdominal pain, tiredness, loss of appetite and a high temperature.
    Infectious
    Contagious, viral infection that is spread though droplets of saliva from cough and sneezes. Preventable by making sure your child has their MMR vaccination (once at 12 months of age, with a second booster before they start school).
    Treatment
    No cure, but treat symptoms - Get plenty of rest, painkillers, drink plenty of fluids, apply cold compress to swollen glands and eat foods that do not need lots of chewing. In addition, If your GP suspects mumps, they should notify your local health protection unit (HPU). The HPU will arrange for a sample of saliva to be tested to confirm or rule out the diagnosis.
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - 5 days from onset of swelling (of glands)
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Threadworms

    Symptoms
    You can spot worms in your poo. They look like pieces of white thread. You might also see them around your child's bottom (anus). The worms usually come out at night while your child is sleeping. Other symptoms include: extreme itching around the anus or vagina, particularly at night. Also irritability and waking up during the night.
    Infectious
    Yes highly contagious. Threadworm lay eggs around the anus area. If these eggs are transferred onto surfaces or clothes and another person touches these surfaces then the eggs can be transferred to their mouth and any eggs that are swallowed will hatch inside the intestine. This is why it is extremely important to encourage hand washing.
    Treatment
    See your pharmacist as medicine is available to purchase to treat threadworms. There is a high risk of threadworms spreading therefore it is recommended that everyone in the household is treated even if they do not have symptoms.
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - Children do not need to stay off school as long as good hand hygiene is encouraged
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Tonsillitis

    Symptoms
    Sore throat, red and swollen tonsils, pain when swallowing, fever, coughing, tiredness, pain in ears or neck, white puss filled spots on tonsils, swollen glands in neck, changes to normal tone of voice and a headache.
    Infectious
    Easily spread.
    Treatment
    Most tonsillitis is viral – get plenty of rest, painkillers, drink plenty of fluids, if symptoms last for more than 4 days see your GP.
    Exclusion from school
    No - However, if your child has recurrent tonsillitis, it may be appropriate to access your GP to see if a tonsillectomy is needed (especially if your child is regularly ill and it is having an impact on their education).
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Typhoid

    Symptoms
    High temperature, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea, vomiting, dry cough, dull headache, skin rash of pink spots and severe confusion.
    Infectious
    Very contagious bacterial infection that can be passed through faeces and urine. Linked to poor sanitation. Vaccination is advised if planning to travel to high risk areas in the world.
    Treatment
    Will need 7 -14 day course of antibiotics from your GP
    Exclusion from school
    No - Not normally - Return as soon as your child is feeling better, or after tests on three stool samples taken at 48-hour intervals have shown that the bacteria are no longer present
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Rashes and skin infections

    Athlete’s foot

    Symptoms
    Skin disease caused by a fungus, usually occurring between the toes. Affected areas of skin may be dry/red/flaky, white/soggy/cracked, itchy, sore and blistered. For more information please visit NHS choices
    Infectious
    Quite infectious, usually caught where bare feet meet the fungus, e.g. floors of changing rooms For more information please visit NHS choices
    Treatment
    Good foot hygiene, wash and dry thoroughly and keep dry by dusting with powder in socks. Sometimes in severe cases, lotions or creams that kill fungi are prescribed by GPs
    Exclusion from school
    No - However, precautions should be taken to ensure the child does not walk around barefoot to prevent spread of infection.
    For more information please visit NHS choices
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    Chicken Pox

    Symptoms
    The child may feel unwell before a rash appears; the rash starts as small red pimples, which then blister before they dry and crust.
    Infectious
    It is highly infectious; it is spread quickly through coughs and sneezes. Considered to be a mild illness, but your child may feel miserable and have a fever which may last for a few days. Please note: Shingles is spread differently and cannot be passed form person-to-person (see ‘Shingles’ section below)
    Treatment
    No treatments but there are pharmacy remedies such as Paracetamol and Calamine lotion to ease fever and itching. Discuss with your local pharmacist. DO NOT use ibuprofen – it can make someone with chicken pox very ill. For more information see NHS Choices
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - Until all spots have crusted over which usually takes 5 days from the onset of the rash.
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Glue Ear

    Symptoms
    Hearing loss in one or both ears, possible difficulties with speech and communication if recurrent or prolonged. Sometimes episodes of mild ear pain.
    Infectious
    No
    Treatment
    Most cases resolve within three months of their own accord. Treatment is usually only recommended if the ear problem causes severe hearing loss or problems with speech and development. Treatment usually involves hearing aids or grommets. Grommets (small tubes that are inserted into the ear to help drain fluid and maintain pressure) are fitted under general anaesthetic. The procedure usually takes about 15 mins and your child will be released home the same day.
    Exclusion from school
    No - If grommets are inserted, it is recommended that your child will usually be off school until 2 days after the operation.
    For more information please visit NHS choices
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    Impetigo

    Symptoms
    Starts as small blisters, which then form yellow / brown crusts.
    Infectious
    Highly – use separate towels and facecloths, do not touch the blisters, wash hands frequently, avoid contact with newborn babies, food preparation, playing contact sports.
    Treatment
    With cream and / or oral antibiotics on prescription from your GP.
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - Until the skin has healed (no new blisters or crusting), or 48 hours after starting antibiotic treatments.
    For more information please visit NHS choices
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    Measles

    Symptoms
    The initial symptoms include cold like symptoms, red eyes and a sensitivity to light and greyish white spots in the mouth and throat, after a few days a red/brown spotty rash will appear, which starts usually behind the ears then spread around the head and neck before spreading to the rest of the body.
    Infectious
    Highly infectious viral illness. Anyone can get Measles if they have not been vaccinated however it is rare in the UK due to effectiveness of the MMR
    Treatment
    No specific treatment and your immune system should fight off the infection in a couple of weeks, however to make your child more comfortable give Paracetamol to reduce fever and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - 4 days from onset of rash.
    For more information please visit NHS choices
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    Molluscum Contagiosum

    Symptoms
    Viral skin infection consisting of small firm raised spots on the skin, usually painless but may have mild itchiness.
    Infectious
    Highly infectious but usually most people are immune
    Treatment
    No need for treatment unless for cosmetic reasons
    Exclusion from school
    No
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Ringworm

    Symptoms
    Fungal infection that causes a ring like red rash in the skin. The scalp, groin and feet are the most common areas affected.
    Infectious
    Highly infectious, passed between people through direct contact and object such as towels, bedding and hairbrushes. Pets can also be affected so transmission can occur through contact with them.
    Treatment
    With antifungal cream from your GP, Pharmacy or School Nurse
    Exclusion from school
    No
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Scabies

    Symptoms
    Itchy, widespread rash caused by an allergic response to the faeces and saliva of the scabies mite that burrows in the affected person’s skin.
    Infectious
    By direct and prolonged skin contact. Can take 8 weeks for symptoms to develop after initial infection. In rare cases, can be spread through sharing bedding, clothing and towels with an infected person.
    Treatment
    By application of a lotion prescribed by your GP or School Nurse. Symptoms can take up to 10 days to disappear after treatment. Household members and close contacts require treatment. Ensure good hand hygiene and wash all affected bedding, clothing and towels at a high temperature.
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - Only necessary for 24 hours after treatment.
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Scarlet fever

    Symptoms
    Bacterial illness that causes a distinctive pink/red rash that feels like sandpaper to the touch. A child will have a flushed red face and tongue may look like a Strawberry.
    Infectious
    Yes
    Treatment
    Attend GP for a diagnosis. Some mild cases resolve on their own accord after 1-2 weeks, others will require a 10 day course of antibiotics (although symptoms should resolve within 4 – 5 days).
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - 24 hours after commencing antibiotic treatment. Without treatment, your child will be infectious for 1-2 weeks after symptoms appear.
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Shingles

    Symptoms
    Caused by the same virus as chickenpox, it usually affects a specific area on either the left or right side of the body. It causes a painful rash and children will feel unwell for several days before the rash appears.
    Infectious
    It is not possible to catch shingles from someone else with the condition but you can catch chicken pox if you have never had it before.
    Treatment
    No treatments but there are pharmacy remedies such as Paracetamol and Calamine lotion to ease fever and itching. Discuss with your local pharmacist. Consult your GP.
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - Only if the rash is weeping and cannot be covered.
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Slapped Cheek Syndrome (Parvovirus)

    Symptoms
    Facial rash, which commonly spreads to the trunk and limbs a few days later. Both rash stages are usually preceded by a general flu-like illness.
    Infectious
    Most common in children aged 6 – 10 years of age, but can occur at any age. The most infectious stage is when the flu-like illness is present, the infection risk is over by the time the rash has developed.
    Treatment
    Rest, plenty of fluids, medication to treat fever and aches/pains. Antihistamines can be used to help with itching.
    Exclusion from school
    No - but it is helpful to inform school so other children with early symptoms can be identified.
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Warts and Verrucas

    Symptoms
    Warts are described as small rough lumps on the skin, often appearing on the hands and feet. Verrucas tend to be white in appearance with a black dot in the centre, are commonly found on the soles of the feet, and can be painful when weight bearing.
    Infectious
    Most people have warts or Verrucas at some time in their life. They are both caused by the virus HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), and can be spread through skin contact with contaminated surfaces or objects (commonly towels, swimming pools, changing areas). Prevention is improved by good hand and body hygiene, covering the affected areas when swimming, avoiding touching, picking or scratching the areas as this can spread them to other areas of the body (and other people).
    Treatment
    Most disappear without intervention, but treatments are available from your GP or pharmacist – these include medicated creams, powders, gels and plasters. If not effective, cryotherapy (freezing by using liquid nitrogen) could be offered by your GP.
    Exclusion from school
    No
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Respiratory infections

    Flu

    Symptoms
    Sudden fever, dry chesty cough, headache, tiredness, chills, aching muscle, limb or joint pain, diarrhoea, sore throat, runny or blocked nose, sneezing, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.
    Infectious
    Highly and spread easily by coughs and sneezes. Please remember to get your child vaccinated against Flu either in school (up to year 4) or at your GP.
    Treatment
    Rest, keep warm, drink plenty of water and take medication to control fever e.g. Paracetamol/Ibuprofen
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - Until recovered – for most people this is around a week.
    For more information please visit NHS choices
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    Tuberculosis (TB)

    Symptoms
    Persistent cough that brings up thick phlegm, breathlessness, weight loss, lack of appetite, high temperature, extreme tiredness, sense of feeling unwell.
    Infectious
    Requires prolonged close contact for spread. Spread through inhaling drop of saliva from coughs or sneezes from an infected person.
    Treatment
    Several medicines are used to treat TB. Treatment usually last 6 months.
    Exclusion from school
    No - Depends on Specialist advice - Always consult your local Health protection unit – your GP can do this as well. Your child may also be managed by a local TB specialist team.
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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    Whooping Cough

    Symptoms
    An irritating cough gradually becomes outbursts of coughing, usually within 1 or 2 weeks and often lasts for 2 or 3 months. May start similarly to a common cold, progressing to coughing and choking spells.
    Infectious
    Highly infectious. Caused by a bacterium called Bordatella Pertussis, which is found at the back of the throat of an infected person and can be passed through droplets in the air from coughing and sneezing. The incubation period is 7 to 10 days but the infectious period can be 7 days to 3 weeks after onset.
    Treatment
    Acellular pertussis vaccine is given in the primary course with Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio and Hib, as DTaP/IPV/Hib, given at aged 2, 3 and 4 months of age. A further booster dose is given with the preschool boosters between the ages of 3 and 5. Pertussis is treated with antibiotics.
    Exclusion from school
    Yes - 48 hours from commencing antibiotic treatment or 21 days from onset of coughing bout (if no antibiotic treatment).
    For more information please visit NHS Choices.
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