Common Illnesses

Chicken Pox Information for Parents

Please watch your child for the following symptoms. If your child has the symptoms below, please call your child’s healthcare provider for guidance.

Symptoms usually appear 14-16 days after exposure.
Common Signs and Symptoms:

  • Slight fever, feels tired and weak.
  • May report a stomach ache.
  • Itchy, blistered rash that first appears on the trunk (stomach and back) and spreads to the face, arms and legs
  • The rash appears to be small water blisters.

In a day or two, the rash will form crusts that will remain for a few days. As the blisters spread, some will be healing as new ones appear. Your child needs to remain home from nursery until all the blisters are crusted over (your child is contagious until that time).

Hand, Foot and Mouth information for Parents

Please watch your child for the following symptoms. If your child has the symptoms below, please call your child’s healthcare provider for guidance.

Typical symptoms of hand foot and mouth disease include:

  • cold-like symptoms, such as loss of appetite, cough and a moderately high temperature of around 38-39°C (100.4- 102.2°F)
  • a non-itchy, red rash that develops on the hand and the feet; sometimes the rash can develop into painful blisters
  • painful mouth ulcers

The exclusion period for hand, foot and mouth disease is until the child is well ie. No temperature and your child his generally well.

Head Lice Information for Parents

Head lice are tiny wingless insects that live in human hair. They are common, particularly in children. Head lice are grey-brown in colour, the size of a pinhead when hatched and of a sesame seed when fully grown. They cannot fly, jump or swim and are spread by head-to-head contact, climbing from the hair of an infected person to the hair of someone else. A head lice infestation is not the result of dirty hair or poor hygiene. Head lice can affect all types of hair irrespective of its condition and length.

We would advise that you watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Head lice may cause the scalp to itch.
  • A rash may appear on the back of the neck.

Treating head lice:

  • Wet combing
  • Medication, lotion or spray.

It’s not always easy to prevent an infestation occurring because head lice are spread by head-to-head contact.
Regular detection combing on a weekly basis is the best way to find new lice quickly.
Medicated lotions and sprays are not effective in preventing head lice infestations and should only be used if a live louse is found on your child’s head.

Washing clothing and bed linen on a high temperature setting of at least 50°C (122°F) will kill any living head lice. However, lice that fall off the head are unlikely to survive for more than 24 hours.

Viral Meningitis information for Parents

Please watch your child for the following symptoms. If your child has the symptoms below, please call your child’s healthcare provider for guidance.

Common Signs and Symptoms:
Most people with viral meningitis will have mild flu-like symptoms, such as:

  •  headaches
  •  fever
  • generally not feeling very well

In more severe cases of viral meningitis symptoms may include:

  • neck stiffness
  • muscle or joint pain
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • vomiting (being sick)
  • diarrhoea (passing loose, watery stools)
  • photophobia (sensitivity to light)

Viral meningitis can either be severe or mild.
The treatment for both severe and mild meningitis is described below.

Severe viral meningitis
If the symptoms of viral meningitis are severe enough to require admission to hospital, the condition will be treated in the same way as bacterial meningitis with antibiotics.
Once a diagnosis of viral meningitis has been confirmed, the antibiotics will be withdrawn. However, intravenous fluids will be continued to support the body as it recovers.
In very severe cases, where someone is in hospital with viral meningitis, anti-viral medicines may be given.

Mild viral meningitis
Most people with viral meningitis will not require hospital treatment. Viral meningitis is usually mild and can be treated at home with:

  • plenty of rest
  • painkillers for the headache
  • anti-emetics (anti-sickness) medicine for the vomiting

Most people recover within 5 to 14 days.

Scarlet Fever Information for Parents

Scarlet fever is contagious and would ask if you could watch out for the following symptoms.
There is an exclusion period for this which is five days after starting antibiotics.
It can be caught by breathing in bacteria in airborne droplets from an infected person’s coughs and sneezes.
Scarlet fever is a bacterial illness that causes a distinctive pink-red rash and feels like sandpaper to touch.
It may start in one area, but soon spreads to many parts of the body, such as the ears, neck and chest. The rash may be itchy.
Someone with scarlet fever will develop a flushed, red face – hence the name scarlet fever – although the skin around the mouth stays white. The tongue may look a bit like a strawberry.

Other symptoms include swollen neck glands, especially if you generally feel unwell.
Symptoms usually develop one to four days after a person is infected.
Scarlet fever usually follows a sore throat or a skin infection (called impetigo) that is caused by particular strains of streptococcus bacteria.

Slapped cheek information for Parents

Please watch your child for the following symptoms. If your child has the symptoms below, please call your child’s healthcare provider for guidance.

Slapped cheek syndrome is a type of viral infection that is most common in children, although it can affect anyone of any age.

The most common symptom of slapped cheek syndrome is the appearance of a distinctive bright red rash that begins on the cheeks and spreads to the trunk and limbs. Most children will not need treatment as slapped cheek syndrome is usually a very mild condition that passes in a few days. Occasionally it can last up to four or five weeks. The rash usually fades within a week, but it can come and go for several weeks, often appearing after exercise or sun exposure. The rash can be itchy. The rash may be preceded or accompanied by a mild fever and “cold” symptoms.

Slapped cheek is contagious 1-2 weeks before the rash appears. Once the rash appears, the disease is usually not contagious. After exposure to the contagious period of Fifth Disease, it typically takes 2-3 weeks to develop the illness.

Pregnant women and people with blood disorders and immune problems who are exposed to fifth Disease should consult their health provider.

A child with Fifth Disease does not need to stay home as long as she/he is feeling well enough to participate in the program’s activities.

Thread Worms information for Parents

Please could you read the following information below for signs and symptoms:
Threadworms, also known as pinworms, are tiny parasitic worms that hatch eggs in and infect the large intestine of humans.

Threadworms are the most common type of worm infection in the UK, and they are particularly common in young children under the age of 10.  Threadworms are white and look like small pieces of thread. You may notice them around your child’s bottom or in your or your child’s stools.

They don’t always cause symptoms, but people often notice itchiness around their bottom or vagina. This can be worse at night and can sometimes disturb sleep.
Threadworms lay their eggs around an infected person’s anus (bottom), usually at night. Along with the eggs, the worm also secretes a mucus that causes itching.

If the eggs get stuck on the person’s fingertips when they scratch, they can be transferred to their mouth or onto surfaces and clothes. Other people who touch an infected surface can then transfer the eggs to their mouth.
Threadworm eggs can survive for up to three weeks before hatching. If the eggs hatch around the anus, the newly born worms can re-enter the bowel. Eggs that have been swallowed will hatch inside the intestine. After two weeks, the worms reach adult size and begin to reproduce, starting the cycle again.

It is not always possible to prevent a threadworm infection, but you can significantly reduce your risk by always maintaining good hygiene and encouraging children to do the same.

Children should wash their hands regularly, particularly after going to the toilet and before mealtimes.
If your child is infected, encouraging them not to scratch the affected area around their anus or vagina will help prevent re-infection and reduce the risk of the infection spreading to other people.
Please see your GP if you think your child has threadworms.