Health and wellbeing at primary school

It’s important to keep the school informed of any changes to your child’s health.

If your child is sick at school

If your child gets sick or injured at school, the school will contact you. If your child is ill, they will go to an area where they can lie down and be monitored. You will be called to come and collect your child if they are too sick to go back to the classroom. For this reason it is important to keep your contact details up to date with the school, including an alternative contact – such as a relative or neighbour – the school can call should you be unavailable.

If your child is sick at home

From time to time your child may get sick and display any number of symptoms that mean it’s best to keep them away from school and see your doctor.

Some of these symptoms include:

  • a fever of 38ºC or above
  • vomiting or diarrhoea
  • severe cold or flu symptoms
  • rashes of an unknown origin.

Head lice

It is common for school children to get head lice, and it has nothing to do with being clean or dirty. Head lice can spread when children are in close contact, but head lice do not cause any harm to your child’s health.

To prevent your child getting head lice:

  • check your child’s hair regularly
  • keep long hair tied back, plaited or braided.

If your child has head lice:

  • remove tangles with a large comb, then comb hair with a thick, white hair conditioner using a fine-toothed comb to get rid of head lice and their eggs (nits) daily until there are no more eggs
  • inform the school so they can ask others to check their children’s hair. Your child does not have to be identified.
  • continue to send your child to school.

NSW Health has more information on head lice.

Allergies and asthma

It is important for you to inform the principal and the school if your child has asthma or allergies – not just those diagnosed as severe or food allergies.

Anaphylaxis is a severe and sudden allergic reaction to allergens such as nuts or shellfish, or insect bites. If your child is diagnosed with asthma or at risk of an anaphylactic reaction, you must provide the school with information from your child’s doctor, including an Action Plan for Anaphylaxis in accordance with the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).

The school will develop an individual health care plan to describe your child’s needs and how the school plans to meet these needs during the school day, on excursions and in other school activities such as sport.

Schools and parents work together to put arrangements in place for heath care support. Information from the child’s doctor that you provide will inform the planning process.

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) guide and educate Australians living with allergic disease.

Sun safety

Schools promote sun-smart behaviour by encouraging students and staff to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.

Sun-safe uniform items – including hats that protect the head, neck and ears – are included in school uniforms. School staff encourage students to play in the natural and built shade environments around the school.

You can protect your child from the damaging effects of UV radiation by applying sunscreen each morning before they leave for school and ensuring they are wearing a sun-safe hat. Children can also wear sunglasses at school to protect their eyes from sun damage.

Cancer Council NSW provides helpful and informative facts about sun protection.

Department procedures on student health

School health care procedures are implemented within a framework provided by the Work Health and Safety Act, 2011 and the Common Law.

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