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St Mary’s C of E Primary School, Fownhope

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First Aid and Medical Information

At St Mary’s, your child’s wellbeing is our priority. First aid is led by a team of seven Level 3 qualified paediatric first aiders. Additionally, specific members of our first aid team are also specially trained and hold additional responsibilities for administering medication and the use of Epi-Pen’s.



Children are happiest at school when they are well. Whilst some minor ailments can be supported at school, some common illnesses are best treated and monitored at home in order to prevent spreading and ensure the comfort of your child. We take infectious illnesses very seriously at St Mary's and will always act with caution should a child be contagious.


Please see below for more information on common childhood illnesses, their symptoms, isolation periods and where to obtain more guidance. It is vital that you communicate with us if your child is unwell, especially if you believe they may have any of the below illnesses. 







More Information


Symptoms appear 1 to 3 weeks after being infected.

Chickenpox is a mild infectious disease that most children catch at some time. It starts with feeling unwell, a rash and, usually, a fever.


Spots develop, which are red and become fluid-filled blisters within a day or two. They eventually dry into scabs, which drop off.


The spots first appear on the chest, back, head or neck, then spread. They don't leave scars unless they're badly infected or picked.

Infectious period: 1 to 2 days before the rash appears, but it continues to be infectious until all the blisters have crusted over.


Your child will need to stay away from school or nursery until all the spots have crusted over.


This is usually 5 days after the spots appeared.




Symptoms appear 2 to 6 days after being infected.


  • a barking cough that sounds like a seal (you can search online to hear examples)
  • a hoarse voice
  • difficulty breathing
  • a rasping sound when breathing in


Your child will usually have cold-like symptoms to begin with, such as a temperature, runny nose and cough.

Croup symptoms usually come on after a few days and are often worse at night.

Infectious period: 2 to 3 days after symptoms start.


Your child will need to stay away from school or nursery for at least 72 hours. Should they still have a temperature after this time, they will need to remain home until this has come down.


Diarrhea and/or Vomiting

Diarrhoea and vomiting are common in adults, children and babies. They're often caused by a stomach bug and should stop in a few days.


It is not always possible to quickly and accurately identify whether an episode of diarrhea or vomiting is caused by an infectious agent. As such, we treat every case as if it is infectious.

Infectious period: Around two days after the last episode of diarrhea and/or vomiting


In adults and children:

diarrhoea usually stops within 5 to 7 days

vomiting usually stops in 1 or 2 days


German Measles

Symptoms appear 15 to 20 days after being infected.


  • It starts like a mild cold.
  • A rash appears in a day or 2, first on the face, then on the body. The spots are flat and are pale pink on light skin.
  • Glands in the back of the neck may be swollen.


Your child won't usually feel unwell.


Infectious period: From 1 week before symptoms develop until up to 4 days after the rash appeared


Stay off nursery, school, or work for 5 days after the rash appears.


Also try to avoid close contact with pregnant women.


Rubella is infectious from 1 week before the symptoms start and for 4 days after the rash first appears.


Head Lice

Symptoms and signs of Head lice do not always appear immediately – it can take up to six weeks for itchiness to become apparent. Head lice can make your head feel:


  • itchy
  • like something is moving in your hair


The only way to be sure someone has head lice is by finding live lice.

You can do this by combing their hair with a special fine-toothed comb (detection comb).

Whilst current NHS guidance is that your child does not have to miss school because of Head Lice, due to how quickly and easily Head lice spread amongst children, we would prefer if your stays at home until they have been treated.


Once any lice have been removed, it is vital that you recheck the hair on days 1, 5, 9, 13 and 17 to catch any newly hatched lice. All members of the household should be checked.


Please inform the school should you find head lice in your child’s hair. We will confidentially and sensitively make parents aware of an outbreak within the class.



Symptoms appear 4 to 10 days after being infected.


  • Impetigo starts with red sores or blisters, but the redness may be harder to see in brown and black skin.
  • The sores or blisters quickly burst and leave crusty, golden-brown patches.
  • The patches can:
    • look a bit like cornflakes stuck to your skin
    • get bigger
    • spread to other parts of your body
    • be itchy
    • sometimes be painful

Impetigo is a skin infection that's very contagious but not usually serious. It often gets better in 7 to 10 days if you get treatment. Anyone can get it, but it's very common in young children


To help stop impetigo spreading or getting worse while it's still contagious your child will need to stay away from school or nursery for at least 48 hours following the commencement of GP prescribed medication or when the patches dry out and crust over.



Symptoms appear 7 to 12 days after being infected.


  • Measles begins like a bad cold and cough with sore, watery eyes.
  • Your child will become gradually more unwell, with a fever.
  • A rash appears after the third or fourth day. The spots are red and slightly raised. They may be blotchy, but not itchy. The rash begins behind the ears and spreads to the face and neck, then the rest of the body.


The illness usually lasts about a week.

Infectious period: from 

around 4 days before the rash appears until 4 days after it's gone.


Your child will need to stay off school or nursery for at least 4 days from when the rash first appears.



Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. It can affect anyone, but is most common in babies, young children, teenagers and young adults. Meningitis can be very serious if not treated quickly. 


Symptoms of meningitis develop suddenly and can include:

  • a high temperature (fever)
  • being sick
  • a headache
  • a stiff neck
  • a dislike of bright lights
  • drowsiness or unresponsiveness
  • seizures (fits)
  • a rash that does not fade when a glass is rolled over it


It is important to note that whilst the most commonly known symptom, the typical meningitis rash does not always appear. Symptoms can appear in any order or combination, you do not always develop all symptoms. 

Meningitis is caused by a bacterial or viral infection.


It is spread through many different infections, most commonly bacteria or viruses. The bacterial or viruses that cause meningitis often live in parts of the body where they do no harm, so it is often difficult to know who is carrying the infection.


Meningitis is spread from one person to another through droplets from the mouth or nose, for example a cough, sneeze or a kiss. 


Whilst meningitis does not spread as easily as say the flu, close family members and close friends with someone with meningitis caused by meningococcal bacteria are at an increased risk of picking up the infection. 


The incubation period varies with the organism that caused the infection. For example, bacterial meningitis has an incubation period of between 2 and 10 days. 


If you suspect your child has meningitis please see medical guidance as a matter of urgency and do not send your child into school. They are able to return to school once the infection has been treated medically and they are recovered.


Symptoms appear 14 to 25 days after being infected.


A general feeling of being unwell.

A high temperature.

Pain and swelling on the side of the face (in front of the ear) and under the chin. Swelling usually begins on 1 side followed by the other side, though not always. 

Discomfort when chewing.


Infectious period: from about 6 days before swelling in the face until about 5 days after.


During this time, it's important to prevent the infection spreading to others, particularly teenagers and young adults who have not been vaccinated.


Your child will need to avoid school or nursery for at least 5 days after your symptoms first develop


Slapped Cheek

Symptoms appear 1 to 20 days after being infected.


  • It begins with a fever and nasal discharge.
  • A bright red rash, like the mark left by a slap, appears on the cheeks.
  • Over the next 2 to 4 days, a lacy rash spreads to the trunk and limbs.


Children with blood disorders such as spherocytosis or sickle cell disease may become more anaemic. They should seek medical care.


Infectious period: a few days before the rash appears. Children are no longer contagious when the rash appears


It's hard to avoid spreading slapped cheek syndrome because most people do not know they have it until they get the rash.


You can only spread it to other people before the rash appears.


You do not necessarily have to stay off school or nursery after the rash appears.

However, it is vital that you inform the School Office if your child has slapped cheek prior to sending them into school.


Whooping Cough

Symptoms appear 6 to 21 days after being infected.


The symptoms are similar to a cold and cough, with the cough gradually getting worse.


After about 2 weeks, coughing fits start. These are exhausting and make it difficult to breathe.


Younger children (babies under 6 months) are much more seriously affected and can have breath-holding or blue attacks, even before they develop a cough.


Your child may choke and vomit.


Sometimes, but not always, there will be a whooping noise as the child draws in breath after coughing.


The coughing fits may continue for several weeks and can go on for up to 3 months.


Infectious period: From the first signs of the illness until about 3 weeks after coughing starts. If an antibiotic is given, the infectious period will continue for up to 5 days after starting treatment.


It's important for the sake of other children to know whether or not your child has whooping cough. Avoid contact with babies, who are most at risk from serious complications.




Accidents at School

We keep a record of all accidents which require first aid, however as minor bumps and scratches can often occur during a school day we do not inform parents of every single incident. 


Major accidents are recorded and parents are informed (often by phone). If we feel that a child needs to go home because of an accident; needs to see a doctor or needs to be checked by the hospital (not as an emergency) or due to sickness we will call primary guardians. If there is a really serious incident we call an ambulance and also the parents. 


Head injuries are always reported to parents via a bright red non-removable wristband, which is visible to staff throughout the day and to parents at pick up. This wrist band gives you full details on the symptoms to look out for and when to obtain additional medical guidance. Please remove this carefully and keep for reference.




First Aid Supplies and Medicines

First Aid supplies and medicines are stored in the School Office and are constantly kept well stocked and replaced when stocks run low. Smaller portable first aid bags are taken to events and trips, and onto the playground at playtime. 


If your child has any allergies to common medical supplies, e.g. plasters, you are welcome to provide your own and we will note their allergy on our medical database.


All pupils at St Mary’s have easy access to their prescribed medication, via the School Office, with prescribed medicines being administered under the guidance of a member of staff. Both Mrs Corbet and Miss Hunt are specially trained to administer medication. Please be aware that when handing in new prescription medication, you will be asked to complete a medication form including details of dosage and timing. This will be stored securely within your child’s file. Please do not send medicine into school in your child’s bag, this must be handed in to the School Office.


Occasionally, we will administer Calpol, Nurofen or Piriton for minor illnesses. Children are assessed prior to being given non-prescription medication and these are only suggested and given if we feel that it may help ease minor symptoms or ailments to allow a child to continue to enjoy their day. If we feel that these are needed, we will always contact you before administering these for consent.


Where possible, we discourage parents from requesting that non-prescribed medicines such as Calpol are given routinely throughout the day. We assess the welfare and wellbeing of any child prior to suggesting non-prescription medication, and will only recommend its use as and when required. A lot can change throughout the school day, headaches, coughs and colds can ease and often children are able to happily overcome minor symptoms and ailments when distracted and having fun. We will always chat with a child and their teacher and/or support team to assess whether they need non-prescribed medicine before administering this.



Sun Protection

Over the warmer months, please ensure that your child brings a sun hat to school with them. Please apply a long lasting sun cream in the morning before school. If you would like your child to reapply this at lunch time, please provide a named bottle to be left at school. 



Emergency Contacts

It is vital that we have up to date contact numbers for parents in case we need to contact you because your child is unwell or they have had an accident. In addition to this it is essential that we have an up to date emergency contact number (a neighbour, friend or relative) in case we cannot contact you. If telephone numbers or emergency contacts change, please ensure that you notify the School Office at your earliest convenience.