Head Start staff will lower the risk of spreading communicable diseases in our classrooms and offices through preventative health practices. The Registered Nurse on staff will coordinate with Lane County Public Health Department to ensure that reporting procedures adhere to all relevant state laws. The Physicians and Nurse Practitioners on the Health Services Advisory Committee will offer consultative support in this area as well.


Communicable Disease Protocol Guidelines for Exclusions Head Lice

  1. Direct service teams (DST) are expected to refer to the Communicable Disease Protocol and Guidelines for Exclusions whenever there is a concern about communicable disease exposure in the classroom. They also should contact the Registered Nurse (Health/Safety Consultant) on staff whenever they are unclear as to whether a child should be excluded from the classroom.
  2. The Regional Assistant (RA) or teaching staff will send out informational alerts/flyers to all parents of classroom children within twenty-four (24) hours when the disease in question has been verified by a Health Provider or the Health/Safety Consultant. Alerts can be found on the portal in the forms section. If unable to find an Alert for the diagnosed illness, contact the Health Consultant for Alert information.
  3. Staff must not come to work when they are ill. If a staff member has any of the signs or symptoms described in the childcare exclusion guidelines, they are to report this to the Regional Manager (RM). The RM should contact the Health/Safety Consultant if there are concerns about spread of illness from an ill staff member.
  4. Parent (s) or emergency contacts will be notified to pick up the child if s/he appears to have symptoms of a communicable disease or becomes ill at school. (see below for “Caring for a Sick Child”) The child will not be allowed to return to the classroom until the DST receives a note from a Licensed Health Care Provider that indicates they are safe to return to school. (For Head Lice, please refer to Head Lice policy)
  5. To inform others who visit the site of potential communicable disease risk, each classroom will have a dated notice board posted with the latest listing of verified communicable diseases which have occurred among children in the classroom. Names of children will be kept confidential and will never be written on the board.

Procedures for Caring for a Sick Child

  1. Isolate child from the other children in a way that is nurturing to child and as much as classroom/office space allows.
  2. When needed provide the child with a resting mat to lay on while they are waiting.
  3. Be sure to sanitize the rest mat and toys after each use ( see Classroom Sanitation policy).
  4. Take the child’s temperature when any of the following signs are present: nausea, vomiting, flushed cheeks, warm to the touch on the back of your hand, diarrhea, excessive coughing (use under arm method), or fatigue.

How to take a Child’s Temperature

  1. Turn the digital thermometer on, the power button is on the end or near area displaying temperature.
  2. Place a thermometer probe cover over the portion of thermometer that will be placed in the child’s mouth. If the child is unable or unwilling to hold the thermometer in their mouth, then place the probe tip under the arm with the arm held towards against their chest.
  3. Have child hold it under their tongue until the temperature is displayed (typically this is less than two minutes, sometimes within 30 seconds) The child may need help holding the thermometer still in her/his mouth. A normal temperature is 98.6 degrees F. An oral temperature of 101 or an armpit temperature of 100 warrants a call to the parent or guardian to let them know that their child is sick and they need to come pick them up as soon as possible.

This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 45 CFR Section 1304.22 .

It was approved by Policy Council On October 17, 1997.
Updated June, 13, 2001. June 2009. July 2013. April 2021

Revised July 18, 2003- Approved by Health Services Advisory Medical Staff

© 1995-2021. Head Start of Lane County. All rights reserved.

REVIEWED: April 2021