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Letter to parents regarding common health conditions


Hi all:nurse:,

At what point do you send out letters to parents with common health conditions such as

conjunctivitis, strep throat, impetigo, herpes/cold sore etc...?

Is it when it's starting to spread or when first case is reported or found?

I try to send out heads-up prevention letters to parents with all contagious conditions.

And how do you ask parents to always keep the school informed of any contagious conditions?

Please advise:specs:


Specializes in School Nursing and Sports Medicine.

In our school we send out letters to parents when first case is reported/found. The level secretary calls all students who are absent for the day and if the reason is due to illness they would report it to us. :)

Thank you Nurse_Ziba :)

I once found out accidently that this student had a herpes simplex infection on the corner of his mouth and he was in school without reporting his condition to the health office. By the time I found it, the blister already had a dry scab on it.

His mother got defensive when I called to verify and said that it was none of school bussiness. I am wondering if I should send out a letter at this point....

Follow your state guidelines or check with the AAP's book on Infectious Diseases in school. The trend is away from letters unless mandated or a serious risk of disease due to privacy issues. People frequently assume the poor, dirty or motherless child is the one with the problem, whether they are or not.

Teach the child, teach the family, reinforce handwashing, etc.


Specializes in School Nursing and Sports Medicine.

Hi! Mr. Brice. I can see that your from Japan. I'm not sure of what school guidelines are available in your location. Our basis of practice in my country relies on the standard of care, laws in our country, and policies set by the school.

In line with your question, If a student has a cold sore at my school, exclusion is unnecessary. A letter will be sent out if 2 cases are reported in the same class (The letter must not contain any confidential information such as name and grade level). Health teaching - handwashing, good hygiene, avoid sharing items, etc. must be rendered. Have the room disinfected after class. Continue monitoring for new cases. :)

We are a private international school (students from about 20 different countries) so we are pretty much on our own.

We have to follow the Japanese labor law and geneal school health law

but there's not a lot of guidelines out there for international schools :bugeyes:

It is difficult to find middle grounds between patient diversities and best practices.


Specializes in School Nursing and Sports Medicine.

I can relate! I'm working in an international school and I have the same problem - there's not a lot of guidelines out there for international schools. There is a big difference between local and international schools. Especially in the culture of the school. We are expected to deliver beyond what is expected since the parents are paying a lot for the tuition fee. Are you from Canadian Academy?:) Have you heard of ISNA (International school nurses of Asia)? It's an organization composed of school nurses in Asia working in an international school setting. They have annual conference held in different countries. Last year was held in shanghai, this year was in the Philippines, and i think next year is in Thailand. :)