Cape Cod Collaborative

STAR School Nurse



Effective Hand Hygiene

When teaching kids and young adults hand hygiene, I have found some quick tips very helpful. Liquid soaps have been found to be most effective. Wash hands for at least 10 seconds being sure to get between fingers and all around the nails. Ten seconds is a lot longer than you think, singing songs, like ‘Happy Birthday to you’ are good auditory reminders of how long to wash. In between soap and water washes when hands are not visibly soiled, or if water is not available, hand sanitizer is a great option. Apply one pump, rub it in until it feels dry.


When should kids stay home from school?

If your young person has a fever over 100F anywhere in the last 24 hours, has had diarrhea, vomiting or an unexplained skin rash, they should stay home from school until these symptoms are gone for at least 24 hours. (Without a fever reducer, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen)


Unexplained Rashes: 

Unexplained rashes can have multiple causes and can range from benign to very serious. Benign rashes can be just a mild reaction to a new laundry or bath soap, but serious rashes can be viral or bacterial. Eczema can also become more pronounced in dry skin season. Eczema can have allergic and immune mediated components. Untreated rashes can become uncomfortable, itchy or painful and end up with bacterial secondary infections that can cause permanent scarring.  For these reasons, all unexplained rashes should be cleared by your Primary Care Provider before returning to school. If your child does have a rash that has already been identified, just send in a quick note so we don’t worry. (i.e.: Ugh! I just changed laundry soap, it did not go well!)


I hope you find these tips helpful!! Any comments or suggestions for new topics, let me know.


Nurse Marette


Health Care Manual