GROUP A STREP - ADVICE DECEMBER 2022
You will have heard lots of information on the news and on social media about a recent rise in Strep A infections – and about some tragic deaths which have resulted from an extremely rare form of the infection. This letter is to help you understand more about this infection and what to look out for and to do if you are concerned that your child could be affected by its rarer form.
See also information about Scarlet Fever below.
This information is taken from the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/
Coughs and colds
Encourage your child to throw away any used tissues and to wash their hands regularly.
If your child has a high temperature, keep them off school until it goes away.
If your child has chickenpox, keep them off school until all the spots have crusted over.
This is usually about 5 days after the spots first appeared.
There's no need to keep your child off school if they have a cold sore.
Encourage them not to touch the blister or kiss anyone while they have the cold sore, or to share things like cups and towels.
You don't need to keep your child away from school if they have conjunctivitis.
Do get advice from your pharmacist. Encourage your child not to rub their eyes and to wash their hands regularly.
If your child has an ear infection and a high temperature or severe earache, keep them off school until they're feeling better or their high temperature goes away.
Hand, foot and mouth disease
If your child has hand, foot and mouth disease but seems well enough to go to school, there's no need to keep them off.
Encourage your child to throw away any used tissues straight away and to wash their hands regularly.
Head lice and nits
There's no need to keep your child off school if they have head lice.
You can treat head lice and nits without seeing a GP.
If your child has impetigo, they'll need treatment from a GP, often with antibiotics.
Keep them off school until all the sores have crusted over and healed, or for 48 hours after they start antibiotic treatment.
Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly and not to share things like towels and cups with other children at school.
If your child has ringworm, see your pharmacist unless it's on their scalp, in which case you should see a GP.
It's fine for your child to go to school once they have started treatment.
The early symptoms of scarlet fever may include sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting.
After 12 to 48 hours the characteristic red, pinhead rash develops, typically first appearing on the chest and stomach, rapidly spreading to other parts of the body, giving the skin a rough sandpaper-like texture. The scarlet rash may be harder to spot on darker skin, although the 'sandpaper' feel should be present.
Patients typically have flushed cheeks often a ‘strawberry tongue’ – where white spots appear on the red tongue, making it look a bit like the flesh of a strawberry. While infections like these can be unpleasant, they rarely become serious. When treated with antibiotics, someone with a mild illness like tonsilitis stops being contagious around 24 hours after starting their medication.If your child has scarlet fever, they'll need treatment with antibiotics from a GP. Otherwise they'll be infectious for 2 to 3 weeks.
Your child can go back to school 24 hours after starting antibiotics.
Slapped cheek syndrome (fifth disease)
You don't need to keep your child off school if they have slapped cheek syndrome, because once the rash appears, they're no longer infectious.
If you suspect your child has slapped cheek syndrome, take them to see a GP and let their school know if they're diagnosed with it.
You can still send your child to school if they have a sore throat. But if they also have a high temperature, they should stay at home until it goes away.
A sore throat and a high temperature can be symptoms of tonsillitis.
You don't need to keep your child off school if they have threadworms.
Speak to your pharmacist, who can recommend a treatment.
Vomiting and diarrhoea
Children with diarrhoea or vomiting should stay away from school for 2 days after their symptoms have gone. This is 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting.