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From the Nurse


Every year, between fall and early winter, health screenings are conducted for all children in kindergarten through fourth grade.  These screenings, which include vision, hearing, and BMI, are required by the state of Massachusetts.  



This is a common viral illness that causes a low-grade fever and a distinctive rash. The child may feel tired, have muscle aches and a headache. The rash appears after the fever is gone and causes bright, red cheeks and a faint, lacy rash on the trunk, arms and legs. By the time the rash appears, the child is no longer contagious and does not need to stay home from school as long as they are feeling well and don’t have a fever. If the illness is suspected in the pre-rash stage, the child should not attend school. Pregnant women who have contact with children in group settings should consult with their health professionals about their immune status and potential risk. Parents of children with a chronic illness that affects their immune system should consult with their child’s doctor.


Head lice are small, wingless insects that live on the scalp. They are a nuisance, but have not proven to carry or transmit any disease. They are passed from person to person by close head to head contact. Also, they can be spread by sharing hats, brushes, etc. They can’t fly, hop or jump. They don’t live on pets. They need human blood to survive.

It is important for parents to routinely check their children’s head for evidence of head lice. If you find that your child has head lice, please let me know and bring your child to the health office to be checked after treatment. If I find your child has head lice while at school, you will be notified. Classroom checks and notes home to the whole class are not done. Remember, schools don’t get lice and homes don’t get lice— people do. Usually, a student should not miss more than 1 day of school to be treated.

Different treatments are available. The chemical shampoos should not be used “just in case” a child or family member has lice OR in an effort to prevent them. They are only for definite evidence of head lice. Please don’t use any of the chemical sprays. They are unnecessary and potentially pose personal and environmental hazards to people and pets. Vacuuming is safe and effective, as well as washing bedding and recently worn clothing. Lice will die within 24 hours of being off a human head. Put your efforts into removing the live lice and the nits (eggs), in order to prevent the nits from hatching and starting the cycle over again.

Please feel free to call the health office at anytime, if you have any questions or concerns, at 508-563-2334 ext.7304, Pam Coakley.