Student Health & Illness

Student Health and Illness

Toronto Waldorf School has a small health room adjacent to the reception desk with basic first aid supplies and a place for students to rest while waiting to be picked up from school. It does not have space for a student to remain all day, nor can the school take responsibility for an ill student for an entire day. The health room is sanitized regularly, which includes washing walls, couches and linens. Children from the early childhood programs are not sent to the health room but remain in their classroom while waiting to be picked up.

Current information regarding communicable diseases is circulated as needed, and as required by York Region Public Health.

We have a few students and faculty members with severe allergies which could result in an anaphylactic reaction. We also have Your child’s teacher will let you know if you have a child in a class with one of these people, and what you can do to help keep our school safe for them. If your child has such an allergy, or any other serious health concern, and you haven’t already, please ensure you make contact with your class teacher and the front office. Read our detailed Anaphylaxis Policy and Procedure here.

We want to be sure we have all the information we need to support a healthy and safe school year for everyone.

What can be expected from the school?

  1. TWS has staff trained in first aid including at least one member of the front office staff.
  2. When a simple injury occurs, basic first aid measures will be carried out and the student will be returned to his/her normal school program.
  3. If a blow or injury to the head occurs, which does not indicate the need for immediate medical attention; the parent will be contacted and asked to pick up their child. The school cannot take responsibility for the observation that should be carried out following a head injury.
  4. In the situation where immediate medical attention is needed the school will:
    • Call the ambulance;
    • Initiate first aid measures as per instructions and permission provided by the parent;
    • Accompany student to hospital with ambulance or if ambulance is not needed, obtain vehicle transport to nearest hospital or doctor;
    • Office staff will document the time of the call to home and/or work and continue calls frequently until contact is made. After first attempt to reach parents fails, the emergency number will be called;
    • Medical reports which follow insurance agency guidelines shall be filled out when a student’s injury requires hospital treatment.
  5. In case of illness, and with a permission note from the teacher, the student (from grades 1 to 12 only) will remain in the health room until they are feeling well enough to go back to class or until they are picked up by a parent. Children from Early Childhood will stay in their classroom. A log book with a record of the time of the arrival to the health room, the action taken and, if necessary, when parents were called and reached is kept by the receptionist.
    • At the discretion of the teacher and/or the front office staff, the parent may be contacted by phone and asked to pick up their child.
    • Office staff and teachers will not administer medication. Rescue remedy or arnica will be given if permission has been received by the school on the appropriate permission forms.
    • Any Lower School or High School student exhibiting signs of a fever and/or vomiting will stay in the health room until they are picked up. Early childhood children will stay in their classroom until they are picked up.
  6. The school has first aid kits which are checked and stocked at regular intervals. They are taken on all trips and the gym has its own specialized kit.

Illness

The responsibilities of the parents regarding illness:

  1. Parents are required to:
    • Keep the office records up to date regarding changed home or office phone numbers. A phone number for an alternate care giver should be provided for emergency use.
    • Keep the office records up to date regarding changes to your child’s health including life threatening allergies or diabetes by filling out the appropriate forms that are distributed with the school contracts. The needs of a child with special health requirements must be made known, along with the means of coping with them which could include that the parent train teachers and office staff with the appropriate procedures.
  2. Medications brought to school which are to be taken by the child should be packaged in the dose required. Do not send full bottles of medication to school. The staff at the school cannot administer medications to children; those too young to take their own should have their schedule regulated to avoid a dose during school times.
  3. No student who has had a fever the previous day or has been vomiting 16 hours prior to the start of a school day is to be sent to school. Symptoms are often gone in the early morning due to the body’s normal biological rhythm, but reappear as the day progresses. A child requires appropriate rest after an illness.
  4. If an illness appears in the first half of the day, the parent will be required to come and pick up their child or make appropriate arrangements for them to get home safely.
    • If a person other than the parent is designated to take the student, the front office, or early childhood teacher, must be told the name of the expected person and that person must expect to be asked for identification.
    • In the case of an older student the parent can ask that a taxi be called to transport them home. They will be responsible for payment.
    • For safety reasons the school will not allow a student with significant fever or abdominal symptoms to take public transportation.
  5. In all cases the ill student should be picked up and signed out at the front office of the school by the parent or designate.
  6. If an illness appears toward the end of the school day, the student may wait until the end of the school day for normal transport home. The parent will be called and advised of the illness so they have the option of personally picking up their child or deciding the best means of transport.
  7. If a student has frequent complaints of head, limb, stomach aches, etc. the parent should communicate with the teacher and together develop a plan as to how these symptoms will be handled should they arise during the course of the school day.

How you can help decrease illness incidence within the school

There are measures we all can take which will help prevent outbreaks of illness in our school community. Please be considerate of others if you or your children are experiencing symptoms of ill health. Some things to consider are listed below.

  • Remember that at school 12 to 30 students spend at least five hours enclosed in one room. Nowhere else, even in our own homes, is the contact so extensive.
  • Your child may have a light case “of whatever is going around”, but the one who catches it may have more severe symptoms.
  • When something is “going around” it can be especially helpful to keep an ill student at home, as it can help to control the outbreak.
  • Some families in our community have newborns, elderly or chronically ill at home and are trying to avoid “the flu”.
  • Teachers, as well as other students, can be more susceptible to contracting an illness by being exposed day after day to these viruses.
  • Illnesses are most contagious when they are first appearing, often before the ill student is willing/able to acknowledge they are too ill to attend school.
  • Your ill child will benefit from less excitement and more rest in their own house.
  • Encouraging regular hand washing at home can reinforce the regular hand washing we encourage in school, as a proven method of slowing the spread of colds and flu.

Other instances when you may be called to pick your child up before the end of the day

We realize that it is very difficult for parents to pick up their child during the school day; however, as a last resort, the following list outlines some possible situations where pick-up will be necessary.

You will be asked to pick up your child:

  • If they are crying inconsolably for an extended period.
  • If they endanger themselves or others.
  • If their behaviour makes it impossible for the rest of the class to carry on with the program.
  • If, in the afternoon nursery or kindergarten program, another faculty member is unavailable to stay temporarily with them and they are so disruptive that the other children are unable to rest.

In all cases, a parent will only be asked to pick up their child when we have determined that all reasonable measures have been taken to alleviate the situation, and the child is still not able to return to their normal state. As with a medical emergency, if we are unable to reach a parent, the emergency contact will be called.