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Health Issues

At Okehampton Primary School we are able to offer parents and carers a free and confidential ‘drop in’ session with the local school community nurse. If you have any concerns or queries about any aspect of your child’s health, please do come along to a session. The nurse will be able to give advice on a variety of issues including bed wetting, sleep problems, eating concerns or any issue which is affecting your child. These are normally held every other Wednesday. Please refer to the weekly newsletter or call in at the school office where you will be able to find information forthcoming sessions.




In the event of your child having a minor accident or injury whilst at school we have several staff fully qualified in First Aid who are able to offer basic treatment. In addition to this all teaching staff have regularly updated basic first aid training and some have pediatric specialist training for treating younger children. If your child has had an injury they will be given basic treatment as required. If staff are in the slightest bit concerned about an injury we will contact you by telephone. However for injuries which are minor or simply require 10 minutes rest, a letter is always sent home and younger children are given a sticker to say they have visited first aid. In this way parents know to look for a letter as younger children often forget they have been to the first aid station!




Please inform staff of any health problem that your child may have, e.g. allergies, eczema, asthma etc.


If your child complains of feeling unwell at school we will notify you at home or work to see if there have been any concerns that morning. Depending on the time of day and how unwell your child is, you may be asked to come and collect your child from school.


It is essential that parents keep the office up to date of any changes in phone numbers either at home, work or on a mobile network. Please also ensure that any additional emergency contact details are also kept up to date. In the event that you cannot be contacted, we will move onto the next emergency contact details.




We have to keep detailed records of each child’s attendance and punctuality, which is monitored by the school and our Education Welfare Officer, who makes regular visits.


If your child is unwell, please telephone the school office first thing in the morning on the day of your child’s absence informing us that they will not be at school and the expected date of return. A note explaining the absence should then be brought to school on your child’s return.


Please note for child safety reasons we operate a first day call policy. If a parent has not informed us that their child will be absent and the child is not present at registration then the parent initially, then emergency contacts, will be telephoned until we can establish that the child is safe.


If your child has a medical appointment please inform the office or your child’s class teacher in advance.




The following advice on the treatment of head lice from NHS choices website: Combs are available from the school office for a small charge.


Head lice can be difficult to treat due to a high re-infestation rate and their ability to develop resistance to traditional insecticides contained in some medications.


It is thought head lice will not develop immunity to the newer silicone and oil-based preparations because they have a physical rather than a chemical action on lice.


After a head lice infestation has been confirmed, you can treat the lice at home by wet combing the hair using a head lice comb or by using medicated lotion (see below).


However, neither will protect against re-infestation if head-to-head contact is made with someone with head lice during the treatment period.




The wet combing method involves removing the head lice by systematically combing the hair using a special fine-toothed comb. The comb's teeth should be spaced less than 0.3mm, but at least 0.2mm, apart. Lice can be trapped between the teeth of nit combs with a tooth spacing of less than 0.19mm and remain unseen. Combs are available from pharmacies. The use of medicated products is not necessary for wet combing. This is advantageous because head lice are becoming more resistant to the insecticides commonly used to remove them.


However, for wet combing to be effective, it involves regular and thorough combing which is time consuming. The wet combing method is described below. Wash the hair using ordinary shampoo and apply plenty of conditioner, before using a wide-toothed comb to straighten and untangle the hair.


Once the comb moves freely through the hair without dragging, switch to the louse detection comb. Make sure the teeth of the comb slot into the hair at the roots with the bevel-edge of the teeth lightly touching the scalp. Draw the comb down to the ends of the hair with every stroke and check the comb for lice.


Remove lice by wiping or rinsing the comb. Work method

ically through the hair, section by section, so that the whole head of hair is combed through. Rinse out conditioner and repeat the combing procedure in the wet hair. Repeat the procedure on days five, nine and 13 so that you clear young lice as they hatch, before they have time to reach maturity.


The length of time it will take to comb your child’s hair will depend on the type of hair your child has and how long it is. For example, short, straight hair can be quickly prepared and can be fine-toothed combed in a few minutes, whereas longer, curlier hair will take longer to comb.




Using medicated lotion or spray is an alternative method of treating head lice. However, no medicated treatment is 100% effective. Your pharmacist will be able to recommend an over-the-counter lotion or spray. Medicated treatments should only be used if a living (moving) head louse is found. Crème rinses and shampoos are not thought effective and are therefore not recommended. Ensure you have enough lotion to treat everyone in your family who is affected. Use enough to coat the scalp and the length of the hair during each application. Follow instructions that come with the medicated lotion or spray when applying it. Depending on the product you are using, the length of time it will need to be left on the head may vary from 10 minutes to 8 hours. The normal advice is to treat the hair and repeat the treatment after seven days. Some medicated products also supply a comb for removing dead lice and eggs.


Traditional insecticides must not be used more than once a week for three weeks in a row. Some products also carry a fire warning. Some medicated products may be capable of killing eggs as well as lice, although there is no certainty of this. Check for baby lice hatching from eggs 3-5 five days after you use a product, and again 10-12 days afterwards. A minimum of two applications of lotion are needed to kill lice over the hatching period because the lotions do not always kill louse eggs. If the lice appear unaffected by the product (some lice may develop resistance to particular insecticides), or if the problem persists, seek advice from your school nurse, health visitor, pharmacist or GP.