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Parent Handbook

Section 11 - Health Policies

General Illness – If a child gets sick while attending class, the child’s parent or, if need be, emergency contact will be informed.  When contacted, staff will make arrangements with the parent for the child to be picked-up.  The expectation is that the child will be picked-up as soon as possible.


Symptoms – If a child exhibits any of the following symptoms, they should not attend class.

  • Temperature over 101 degrees

  • Temperature of 100 degrees or higher accompanied by any other symptom(s)

  • Complaining of a sore throat

  • A deep, hacking cough

  • Difficulty breathing or untreated wheezing

  • An unexplained rash

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Thick green drainage from the nose

  • Yellow discharge from the eye

  • Cuts or openings on the skin that are infected (pus-filled or oozing)

  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)

  • Suspicion or evidence of a parasitic infection such as lice, scabies, ringworm or other


Minor Accidents and Injury – If a child falls, gets bumped or has some other minor accident, staff will attend to the accident or injury.  This may include treatments such as applying a band-aid or using an ice-pack.  When a parent comes to pick-up their child, they will be informed if a minor accident or injury occurred with their child.


Serious Incidents, Injury or Illness – An incident is considered to be serious if a child needs emergency treatment or if they need to be seen by a doctor or other medical professional.  Parents will be notified immediately if a serious incident occurs.

Emergency Medical Transportation – If an incident requires that a child be transported for emergency treatment, the following will be the process followed.

  • 9-1-1 will be called.  Staff will follow 9-1-1 dispatcher instructions.

  • The child’s parent(s) will be notified.  If staff is unable to reach the parent, the emergency contact will be notified.

  • Staff will stay with the child and assist the child as directed by the 9-1-1 dispatcher.

  • Once emergency medical personnel arrive, all care of the child will be undertaken by emergency medical personnel or as they so direct.

  • If a child’s parent(s) does not consent to emergency medical transportation, a child’s parent will be expected to pick-up their child as soon as possible.  It is expected that any emergency medical concerns be addressed by the parent in this case.


Communicable Disease Policy – If a child has been exposed to a contagious illness or disease, parents will be notified as soon as possible.

  • If a child has been absent due to a communicable disease as diagnosed by a medical professional, a note, from a doctor or other medical professional, stating that it is okay for the child to return to class will be required in order for the child to return to class.


Well-child Exam – In order to attend the Head Start program in a classroom, a child needs to have a current Well-child Exam (also called a Physical Exam) on file.  Documentation of a current Well-child exam must be updated each time that a child is examined.  Your pediatrician or other health care professional can assist you with keeping on schedule.

  • If documentation of a current Well-child Exam is not provided within thirty (30) days of the expiration of the previous Well-child Exam, a child will not be allowed to attend class until documentation of a current Well-child Exam is received.


Immunizations – Documentation of the immunizations received by a child (immunization record) must be submitted.  If a parent opts not to have their child immunized against one or more of the required immunizations, a doctor must note which immunization(s) was declined on the immunization record and Well-child exam report.


Dental Exam – Dental exams should happen every six months after a child gets their first tooth.  Documentation of an exam and any follow-up treatment should be submitted to a child’s teacher or home visitor.  It is strongly recommended to maintain excellent dental hygiene while a child’s teeth are growing in and throughout a person’s entire life.


Medications – If a child is taking medication that requires dosing during class time, several steps must be taken.

  • The parent must complete a Care Plan form with program staff.

  • The parent must complete an “ODJFS Parent/Guardian Request for Administration of Medication” form.

  • If over-the-counter medication is to be distributed, written permission from a doctor must be included.

  • The child will not be permitted to enter the classroom without staff first being trained in the administration of the medication, if applicable.


Staff cannot apply lotion, sunscreen or other medication to a child’s skin without request of administration of medication form being completed by parent/guardian.


Allergies – If a child has allergies to either medication or food, it must be noted on the appropriate form(s):  Special Diet Form, Care Plan, etc.


Dietary Restrictions – If a child has need of special diet foods due to allergies, sensitivities or nutritional supplementation, a Special Diet form must be completed by a doctor.


COVID-19 – As a result of the current pandemic, additional procedures have been added to ensure the health and safety of the children, their families and our staff.

  • The program will follow all mandates and recommendations mandated by the State of Ohio Governor and Health Department.

  • Parents (and other non-staff) are not permitted to enter the classrooms.  Instead they will be greeted at the outside door to receive their child for class or send their child home.

  • Each person entering a site will be given a health screening.  This screening includes a brief set of questions regarding COVID-19 risk and a temperature check.

  • If a person has a fever of 100 or higher, they will not be permitted to enter the building or attend class.

  • If a person has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, they will not be permitted to enter the building or attend class.  That person or their parent (in the case of a child) must contact their local health department for instructions on how to proceed.

  • If a person has been quarantined after exposure or contraction of COVID-19, they must provide a note from their doctor stating that they are clear of the disease in order to return to class.

  • Class start and end times are staggered to allow for a smaller amount of people to be present at any given time.

  • Facial coverings (masks) are required to be worn at all Head Start sites.

  • Sanitation of every classroom and all of its contents occurs several times daily.

  • Hand washing and hand sanitizing is mandated to happen several times daily.


In all cases involving a fever of 100 or greater, a child must be symptom and fever free without over-the-counter fever reducing medication (like Tylenol) for at least 24 hours before returning to class.

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