Washoe Country School District

August 21, 2014

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Healthy Students, Healthy Schools

Information about stomach illness

General Information

1. An individual who has symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea can be infectious for 72 hours or more after they recover.

2. Frequent hand-washing with soap and water by students and staff is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the virus.

3. Hand sanitizer does not kill some stomach viruses. Thorough scrubbing of hands with soap and water is effective in eliminating the viruses and bacteria from hands through friction and rinsing.

4. When a vomiting incident occurs, viruses can become airborne and can infect others within a parameter of 10 to 25 feet. When particles land on hard surfaces, the virus or bacteria can stay active for a number of days and infect anyone who puts their hands on the surface and then touches their mouth.

5. Always wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating.

6. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

For more detailed information visit Washoe County Health District website.

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 Air Quality Guidelines

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the Washoe County Health District (WCHD) has mandated a “No Burn Code” since late last week and our area has seen unusually high pollution levels due to the cold weather inversion and lack of wind. High levels of particulates in the air can be harmful to health, and young children and those with respiratory or other health conditions are especially vulnerable.

Click here for more information.

September, 2013—Health Advice for Parents:
WCSD Student Health Services Department works closely with school staff members to keep our students safe and healthy during every school day. When we are faced with challenges like poor air quality and the upcoming flu season, it’s even more important for schools and families to work together in teaching our students healthy habits and safe practices.

Click HERE for a letter to parents with advice for keeping kids healthy this fall.

Septiembre del 2013 – Consejos de Salud para los Padres:
Departamento de los Servicios de Salud para Estudiantes del WCSD trabaja en estrecha colaboración con el personal de la escuela para mantener a nuestros estudiantes seguros y saludables durante los días escolares. Cuando nos enfrentamos a retos como la mala calidad del aire y la próxima temporada de gripe, es aún más importante que las escuelas y las familias a trabajen juntos para enseñar a nuestros estudiantes hábitos saludables y prácticas seguras.

Haga clic AQUÍ HERE para leer una carta a los padres con consejos para mantener a los niños sanos en el otoño. ESPAÑOL

Guidelines for Student Activities in Cold Weather

The definition of extreme cold can vary across different regions of the country and there are no local or national temperature standards or specific rules about when students should be kept indoors. While most students can spend short periods outdoors if they are dressed appropriately, prolonged exposure to below-freezing temperatures can lead to serious conditions such as frostbite or hypothermia.

The decision to modify or cancel outdoor physical activities due to weather conditions is made by the principal using a “common sense” approach, with consideration given to risk factors of the student population at each school site.

Young children, those with health conditions such as asthma, and those who are not dressed appropriately for the cold weather are at greatest risk of health complications in cold temperatures. Environmental risk factors include air temperature, wind chill factor, relative humidity, amount of time spent outdoors, etc.

When a decision is made to allow students to participate in outdoor recess or P.E in cold weather conditions, the following preventative measures are essential to protecting their health and safety:

  • Dress Warmly and Stay Dry
    Adults and children should wear: a hat, scarf, or knit mask to cover face and mouth, mittens, water-resistant coats and boots, sleeves that are snug at the wrist, and several layers of loose clothing.
  • Be Aware of the Wind Chill Factor
    Wind chill is the temperature the body feels when the air temperature is combined with wind speed. As the speed of the wind increases, it can “carry away” heat from the body and cause skin temperature to drop to dangerously low levels, even when the weather is only cool.
  • Prevention is the Key
    - Do not ignore shivering! It is the first sign that the body is losing heat and serves as a signal that the student should return indoors.
    - Supervise students closely and ensure supervisory staff is trained to recognize and respond to symptoms of cold exposure, including hypothermia and frostbite.
    - Check regularly on students who are known to have medical disabilities or diagnoses.

You are encouraged to communicate with parents and to remind parents to properly dress students with a heavy coat, scarves, gloves, etc., and to properly identify clothing with nametags. For more specific information regarding prevention, symptoms and first aid, for cold-related health conditions, contact your school nurse and go to these web sites:




Guidelines for Student Activities in Hot Weather

Heat - related illness, while serious and potentially life - threatening, is entirely preventable. There is no national temperature standard or specific rule for when to keep students inside during hot summer months . Most healthy children and athletes can safely participate in outdoor sports and activities in a wide range of challengi ng warm / hot weather conditions , provided that prec autions are taken to avoid over heating.

Click here for more information.

Don't Procrastinate Vaccinate!

Student Health Services is reaching out with a reminder to parents and the community: All students entering 7th grade must get a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) booster shot before they can enter school in the fall. Immunize Nevada is hosting a series of Tdap clinics over the next several weeks. The public is invited to these clinics to receive Tdap shots. A small fee may apply for those receiving immunizations.

For more information and clinic locations click here.

Germs and Critters

The health professionals at the Washoe County School District’s Student Health Services Department are dedicated to keeping students healthy and learning-ready.

With 63,000 students and more than 7,000 staff members spending time at Washoe County schools each day, keeping the school environment safe and healthy can be quite a challenge. There are always germs being passed around from person to person, in the classroom, the cafeteria, on the bus, and every other area of the campus. In fact, every day in most schools there are students and staff who are diagnosed with colds, flu, strep throat, head lice and many other contagious conditions.

We can’t eliminate germs and head lice entirely, but by working together with parents and families, we can reduce the spread of illness, improve attendance, increase graduation rates, and give each student the best opportunity to become a successful and healthy adult.

Here’s what you can do to help prevent and control the spread of infection and ensure he or she has a healthy and successful academic year:

Make sure your child’s immunizations are current. There are still cases of serious diseases like chicken pox, polio, and pertussis (whooping cough) occurring in communities across the country. Vaccines protect your child, your family, and our entire community from the serious side effects of these diseases. For on-line information about vaccine recommendations, go to http://www.co.washoe.nv.us/health/cchs/imm.html

Clean hands save lives! Hand-washing is the most effective way to “break” the chain of infection between one person and another. Encourage your child to scrub his or her hands with soap and water after using the bathroom and before eating, for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song. For more tips on hand washing, go to http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/

Teach your child good health habits. Even young children can be taught to “cough or sneeze in your sleeve!”

Please keep your sick child at home. A child with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea is not only infectious to others but needs rest and parent-provided TLC. Call your child’s doctor if the symptoms seem serious or prolonged and be sure to contact your child’s teacher for information about make-up work so he or she doesn’t fall behind in class.

Head lice and nits are a common—but harmless—presence wherever human heads are found! The good news is that lice don’t hop or fly but are spread most often by direct contact with another human head or, less commonly, by using an infested brush or hat. Teach your child not to share these personal items, even with close friends or family members. More detailed information for how to detect and treat head lice can be found at: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HEALTHINFO/DISCOND/Pages/HeadLice.aspx

Head Lice are a nuisance that affect up to 12 million school-aged children each year. Kids are much more likely to get lice from family members and playmates than from classmates at school. You may want to check your child often for lice or nits, especially after a sleep-over or other event where lots of children play together. Do you know how to spot nits and lice? Here are two websites that show photos of lice and nits: http://licehunter.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/head_lice_comb.jpg


• Periodic wellness visits to the doctor and dentist will ensure your child maintains good dental and physical health. Be sure to contact your school nurse if your child has a serious health condition, needs to be monitored or given medications during the school day, or if you need help finding low-cost medical or dental services. Just call the school clinic and ask the clinical aide to page the school nurse.

Common Childhood Germs and Critters:

• Colds are caused by viruses and are easily spread among children. Because most viruses are carried and spread before there are any symptoms, even a child who looks and feels fine can infect others by coughing or sneezing or by touching objects with their contaminated hands. Since viruses live for a time on inanimate objects such as desk tops, pencils, keyboards, bathroom faucets, and doorknobs, the virus can spread when a healthy person touches a contaminated hand or object and then touches their nose, eyes or mouth. If your child has a fever of 100.4 or greater, or is not feeling well enough to fully participate in all school activities, he or she should stay home. The rule of thumb is that the child must be fever-free for 24 hours and feel better without medication before returning to school. For more information go to: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/ear-nose-throat/Pages/Children-and-Colds.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR:+No+local+token

• Flu (Influenza) is another common infectious disease that occurs more often during winter and early spring months and causes mild to severe illness. Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose. Some people, such as older adults, young children, and those with chronic health problems, such as asthma and diabetes, are at higher risk for serious flu complications. For more information about the flu, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm

Remember! The best way to prevent the flu or avoid spreading it to others is by getting vaccinated each year. For information about flu shots and where to get them, go to the Washoe County Health District’s web site at http://www.co.washoe.nv.us/health/cchs/flu.html

• Sore Throat is another common complaint we see in our schools. Sore throat may be caused by an infection with either a virus or bacteria, such as Streptococcus (commonly called strep). Often a child with a sore throat due to a virus will also have a cold at the same time.
Most throat infections are passed from person to person by touching hands or through the air on droplets of moisture that are inhaled by the healthy person through their mouth or nose. That’s why it’s so important to cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve and to wash hands frequently! For more information about the symptoms of mild versus more serious causes of sore throat and when to call your child’s doctor, go to http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/ear-nose-throat/Pages/When-a-Sore-Thoat-is-a-More-Serious-Infection.aspx

Our Policies:
We know that with so many students coming together in a single school building, illness and pests like head lice are common and not always preventable. The Washoe County School District is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for students, staff, and visitors. That’s why there are district policies in place that address prevention and management of communicable diseases in the school setting and why the Student Health Services Department collaborates with the Washoe County Health District to monitor student health and take action when outbreaks of potentially serious diseases occur.


From Discharge to Desktop: Ensuring Your Child is Healthy and Learning-Ready


Health Promotion and Infectious Disease Prevention

HEA-P1250- Management of Students with Head Lice

Medications at School

HEA-F205 - Consent and Request Medication Assistance During School Hours
HEA-P200 - Assisting Students With Medication
HEA-PW200- Assisting Students with Oral Medication

Immunization Requirements

HEA-P900 - Immunization Procedure
HEA-W904 - Immunization Requirements for School Entry
HEA-L900 - Immunization Clinics

Support for Students With Special Health Needs

HEA-P100 - Nursing & Health Services for Students Attending Field Trips
HEA-P102 - Nursing Services for Students with Diabetes
HEA-M600 - Management Students With Food Anaphylaxis
HEA-P207 - Epinephrine Administration on WCSD Campuses


For more specific information about the Washoe County School District’s health policies, contact your school nurse or call Student Health Services
at 353-5966.