SCPS Health Services » Illnesses & Health Concerns

Illnesses & Health Concerns

Ill or Injured Students

San Jacinto Unified School District recognizes that students may become ill or injured at school.

The following are guidelines as to when a student should be kept at home or picked up-the list is not inclusive of all conditions or reasons a student may need to be sent home:

  • Fever of 100 degrees or greater.
  • Significant respiratory complaints (repeated coughing, wheezing or other upper respiratory symptoms).
  • Rash of unknown cause that is systemic in nature or accompanied by a fever.
  • Suspected conjunctivitis (red, itchy eyes with exudate or inflamed conjunctiva)
  • Contagious conditions such as untreated ringworm, head lice, impetigo, etc.
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea when accompanied by malaise or fever or when more than one episode.
  • Head injury accompanied by a headache or visual disturbances, severe headache or visual disturbances (otherwise 911 will be called).
  • Cuts or gashes that are deep or large, underlying structures are visible or bleeding is not controlled within 5 minutes.

Students who are ill or injured are not generally allowed to walk/drive home. This is for the student's safety (if they are too sick to stay in class, they generally would be considered too sick to walk/drive home). Parents are expected to pick the student up within 15-30 minutes or have a local, designated contact who can come on their behalf.  If the student has an elevated fever or other concern that may require medical attention, and if no parent or emergency contact is able to be reached within a timely period and medical attention is needed, the school may be forced to call 911.


Contagious Diseases/Conditions

The following list of a few common contagious diseases is in alphabetical order, not in order of seriousness or frequency of occurrence.  The information is presented as a reference guide only. For diagnosis and treatment, please consult your health care provider.  

Chickenpox: Chickenpox is one of the most common infections of childhood and it is highly contagious. Generally, it does not pose a serious health threat to otherwise healthy people. Usually, the child will develop a fever and skin rash, which begins 14-21 days after exposure to a contagious person. The rash begins as red bumps on the chest, back, underarms, neck and face. These change into blisters and finally form scabs. Infected persons are contagious for 1-5 days prior to developing the rash and until the blisters form dried scabs. If your child develops any of these symptoms, keep him/her at home. Your child must remain home until all the blisters are dry. Most children are now vaccinated against it (Varicella) which has greatly reduced the incidence of chickenpox in schools.

Fifth Disease (Erythema infectiosum: is a mild, viral rash illness. The usual signs and symptoms are a bright red rash on the cheeks (slapped face appearance) followed in 1-4 days by a lace like rash on the trunk and extremities. The rash may fade and reappear for 1-3 weeks on exposure to sunlight or heat (bathing, etc.) Infected persons are contagious prior to the onset of the rash. Once the rash appears, the period of communicability is usually past. Any rash can be an indication of something more serious, so your physician should be consulted. 

Head Lice: While head lice are a nuisance and they cause itching of the scalp, they pose no health risk.  Lice do not carry or transmit any disease.  Lice are small insects that are often very hard to find in the hair, but they lay eggs, which are often visible. The nits (eggs) are small gray-white dots that can be seen on a single strand of hair. They stick like glue so they cannot be brushed off like dandruff. They are most commonly found on the hair behind the ears and at the nape of the neck.  Lice do not jump or fly, they spread only through extended or prolonged head to head contact or contact with infested combs, clothing with hoods, hats, or helmets. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not recommend excluding students with nits from attending school.  Read the district's Board Policy (Link Coming Soon) on head lice.  If your child has lice,  you can purchase various over the counter treatments or contact your doctor for their recommendations.  It is generally recommended that all clothing, bedding and hairbrushes be washed in hot water. Thorough vacuuming of carpeting, furniture and mattresses is adequate.  Lice do not live off the body for very long so they cannot infest carpets, etc., like fleas. For more information about lice prevention and control, contact your school nurse or visit the CDC website

Influenza: The flu season typically occurs during the winter months. Complaints usually consist of headache, stomachache or general malaise (feeling "crummy"). If your child or other member of your family are experiencing these symptoms and are not improving, contact your family physician. It can be quite dangerous to young children or the elderly. There is an annual seasonal influenza vaccine that you should discuss with your health care provider as to whether this is a recommendation for your family.
Measles Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that is transmitted by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing.  People who have never had the disease or who have not received two doses of the measles vaccine are at risk of developing measles. The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected.  Measles typically begins with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.  Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades. Infected people are contagious from 4 days before their rash starts through 4 days afterwards. After an infected person leaves a location, the virus remains viable for up to 2 hours on surfaces and in the air. If your child develops a rash or fever, please keep him or her home and consult your physician. If your child has a case of measles, please notify the school office and keep him or her at home for four days after the rash develops.  This will help prevent the spread of the disease. 

Meningitis An inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis may be caused by a virus or bacteria. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, irritability, and loss of appetite and unusual sleepiness. The Hib vaccine can prevent some forms of meningitis. The virus that eventually infects the covering of the brain is a mild upper respiratory infection in most of us and only in a few cases progresses to meningitis. If your child has any of the above symptoms, especially a fever, stiff neck and significant headache, contact your doctor immediately.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough). The disease starts like the common cold, with a runny nose or congestion, sneezing, and mild cough or fever. After one to two weeks, severe coughing begins. Infants and children with the disease cough violently and rapidly repeatedly until the air is gone from their lungs and they inhale making a loud "whooping" sound. Most children receive the DPT or DTaP vaccination against Pertussis which reduces their risk of contracting the disease. However, the protection offered by immunization wanes as children reach adolescence. Boosters are also recommended for adults who care for infants who have not yet been vaccinated. 
Staph Infections Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections in humans. Most of these skin infections are minor (such as boils and abscesses) and smaller infections can be often be treated with incision and drainage without antibiotics. However, staph also can cause serious infections such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and joint infections. In the past, these staph infections typically have been easy to treat with inexpensive antibiotics. Now in most communities in the U.S., over half of the staph causing skin infections are resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (Download MRSA Parent Guidelines English Spanish) Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to all penicillins (including dicloxacillin and other methicillin-related antibiotics) and cephalosporins, such as Keflex®. Until recently, most MRSA infections occurred among hospitalized patients. However, recently newer, more virulent strains of MRSA have emerged in the community, causing community-associated MRSA infections.
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium that usually attacks the lungs, but the TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine and brain.  TB is spread through the air from one person to another.  The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coups, sneezes, speaks or sings.  People who are in close, prolonged contact with the infected person may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.  Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick.  As a result, two TB related conditions exist latent TB infection and TB disease. For more information on TB, click here
Strep Throat Strep throat is an infection that causes fever, sore throat, swollen glands, nausea and vomiting in severe cases. Scarlet fever usually causes a rash on the neck and chest (seldom on the face). It may occur with any skin infection due to Strep, such as Impetigo or Boils, as well as with Strep throat. Strep throat often appears one to three days after exposure. If your child has a rash and a fever, keep him/her home and consult your health care provider.  

Type 2 Diabetes Information

Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in children. Type 2 diabetes in children is a preventable/ treatable disease and the guidance provided in this information sheet is intended to raise awareness about this disease. Contact your student's school nurse, school administrator, or health care provider if you have questions.  

The California Department of Education developed this type 2 diabetes information in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health, American Diabetes Association, California School Nurses Organization, and Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Also, see available translations of this information.


Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in adults.

  • Until a few years ago, type 2 diabetes was rare in children, but it is becoming more common, especially for overweight teens.
  • According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three American children born after 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes in his or her lifetime.

Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body is able to use sugar (glucose) for energy.

  • The body turns the carbohydrates in food into glucose, the basic fuel for the body’s cells.
  • The pancreas makes insulin, a hormone that moves glucose from the blood to the cells.
  • In type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells resist the effects of insulin, and blood glucose levels rise.
  • Over time, glucose reaches dangerously high levels in the blood, which is called hyperglycemia.
  • Hyperglycemia can lead to health problems like heart disease, blindness, and kidney failure.

Risk Factors 

Researchers do not completely understand why some people develop type 2 diabetes and others do not; however, the following risk factors are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in children:
  • Being overweight. The single greatest risk factor for type 2 diabetes in children is excess weight. In the U.S., almost one out of every five children is overweight. The chances are more than double that an overweight child will develop diabetes.
  • Family history of diabetes. Many affected children and youth have at least one parent with diabetes or have a significant family history of the disease.
  • Inactivity. Being inactive further reduces the body's ability to respond to insulin.
  • Specific racial/ethnic groups. Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, or Asian/Pacific Islanders are more prone than other ethnic groups to develop type 2 diabetes.
  • Puberty. Young people in puberty are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than younger children, probably because of normal rises in hormone levels that can cause insulin resistance during this stage of rapid growth and physical development.
It is recommended that students who have these risk factors who are experiencing the warning signs and symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes be screened (tested) for the disease.

Warning Signs and Symptoms 

Warning signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children develop slowly, and initially there may be no symptoms. However, not everyone with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes develops these warning signs, and not everyone who has these symptoms necessarily has type 2 diabetes.

  • Increased hunger, even after eating
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Increased thirst, dry mouth, and frequent urination
  • Feeling very tired
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing of sores or cuts
  • Dark velvety or ridged patches of skin, especially on the back of the neck or under the arms
  • Irregular periods, no periods, and/or excess facial and body hair growth in girls
  • High blood pressure or abnormal blood fats levels

Prevention Methods and Treatments

Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. Even with a family history of diabetes, eating healthy foods in the correct amounts and exercising regularly can help children achieve or maintain a normal weight and normal blood glucose levels.

  • Eat healthy foods. Make wise food choices. Eat foods low in fat and calories.
  • Get more physical activity. Increase physical activity to at least 60 minutes every day.
  • Take medication. If diet and exercise are not enough to control the disease, it may be necessary to treat type 2 diabetes with medication.

The first step in treating type 2 diabetes is to visit a doctor. A doctor can determine if a child is overweight based on the child's age, weight, and height. A doctor can also request tests of a child's blood glucose to see if the child has diabetes or pre-diabetes (a condition which may lead to type 2 diabetes).

Screening Tests 

  • Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. A blood test measures the average blood sugar level over two to three months. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates diabetes.
  • Random (non-fasting) blood sugar test. A blood sample is taken at a random time. A random blood sugar level of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher suggests diabetes. This test must be confirmed with a fasting blood glucose test.
  • Fasting blood sugar test. A blood sample is taken after an overnight fast. A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL is normal. A level of 100 to 125 mg/dL is considered pre-diabetes. A level of 126 mg/dL or higher on two separate tests indicates diabetes.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test. A test measuring the fasting blood sugar level after an overnight fast with periodic testing for the next several hours after drinking a sugary liquid. A reading of more than 200 mg/dL after two hours indicates diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes in children is a preventable/treatable disease and the guidance provided in this information sheet is intended to raise awareness about this disease. Contact your student's school nurse or health care provider if you have questions.


How to Stay Healthy

Everyday actions people can take to stay healthy

  • Cough into the inside of your elbow or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective if soap and water is not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people

  • Most colds or other contagious conditions are spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.

  • If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

  • Stay at least three feet away from people who are sick.

Get plenty of sleep and rest

  • Getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night can help boost our immune system and help our bodies recover from illnesses more quickly.
  • Eat a healthy diet including fruits and vegetables.  Avoid sugary drinks and foods (they can lower our immunity).