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Excluded, Ill or Affected Children


There are times when a child should not attend class at a Center or be seen by a home visitor. Whenever a child falls into a category that he/she is to be excluded, contact the Program Assistant.

After appropriate measures have been taken, the child will then be able to attend the Center or have a Home Visitor.  Upon a child’s return to the Center, they must submit documentation from the physician that the child is under treatment and able to return to class.

By following this policy, we are better able to see that all children remain healthy and are not at risk of contacting an illness that could be prevented.

The parent, legal guardian, or other person(s) authorized by the parent shall be notified immediately when a child has a sign or symptom requiring exclusion from the program as described below.

  1. The illness prevents the child from participating comfortable in program activities.
  2. The illness results in a greater care need than the staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of the other children, or
  3. The child has any one of the following conditions:
    1. Diarrhea:  The child may return to class 24 hours after the last episode if no other symptoms are present.
    2. A diagnosed communicable disease or suspected signs of a communicable disease.  (i.e. chicken pox, German measles, measles, mumps.
    3. Vomiting  (two or more episodes of vomiting in the previous 24 hours) until vomiting resolves or until a health care provider determines the illness to be non-communicable, and the child is not in danger of dehydration.
    4. Symptoms and Signs of severe illness such as unusual lethargy, listlessness, uncontrolled coughing, continued headaches, irritability, persistent crying, chest discomfort, constant runny nose, difficult breathing, wheezing or other unusual signs until medical evaluation indicated.
    5. Undiagnosed skin rash with or without a fever or behavior change until a health care provider determines that these symptoms do not indicate a communicable disease.
    6. Earaches and Toothaches, home visitor may go into home.  No attendance at Center until earache or toothache is taken care of.
    7. Mouth Sores with or without drooling unless a health care provider or health official determines that condition is noninfectious.
    8. Discharge from ears –inflamed tissues around ears or eyes.  Home Visitor may go into home.  No attendance at Center until physician gives release.
    9. Pink Eye Symptoms (conjunctivitis) Whites of eyes turn pink or red and feel gritty, then a white or yellow discharge crust forms overnight.  Need to be seen by physician.  Can return to center 24 hours after treatment is instituted.
    10. Ringworm Often appears to begin as a small scaly patch on the edge of the scalp near the hairline.  Ringworm can also infect other parts of the body including feet and groin.  Need to be seen by physician.  Parent/Guardian must provide documentation that the child has been seen by a physician and received treatment before the child can return to the center.  Ringworm must be covered with a bandage at all times while the child is at the Center, or have a home visitor.
    11. Meningitis – Symptoms: Severe headache, stiff neck, fever, vomiting, rash, irritability.  Very sudden and very severe.  Contact doctor immediately.  Contact Public Health Authority to find out if other cases have been reported.
    12. Hepatitis – Symptoms: fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, jaundice.  Contact doctor immediately.  No home visits or Center attendance for a minimum of 7 days to one month for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis C after onset of jaundice.  Doctor will give release.
    13. Impetigo – Symptoms: skin lesions, patch of tiny blisters – a strep infection.  Need to be seen by family doctor.  May have a home visitor or can return to center 24 hours after oral medications are started.
    14. Chicken Pox – Symptoms: skin rash, small red fluid filled spots, after a few days they burst or dry out, then crust over.  Itchy, may have a slight fever.  May have home visitor or return to Center seven days after onset of rash or until all sores have dried and crusted.
    15. Head Lice – Symptoms: Persistent itching of the scalp, sometimes accompanied by infested scratch marks or what appears to be a rash.  Nits are usually often found at the back of the head and neck and behind the ears.  Treatment includes medicated lice shampoo.  May have home visitor or return to Center 24 hours after treatment is completed and the child is found to be nit and lice free.  Notice: If pregnant or child is under 1 year of age – contact physician regarding use of medicated shampoo.
    16. Mumps – Symptoms: Malaise (generalized weakness), anorexia (loss of appetite), headache, and low-grade fever, followed by an earache that’s aggravated by chewing or when drinking sour or acidic liquids.  May return to the center, or have a home visitor, nine (9) days after onset of parotid gland swelling.
    17. Fifths Disease – Symptoms: red rash on the face, primarily on the cheeks, gives the “slapped face” appearance.  Lasts 1-4 days.  The rash may appear on upper and lower extremities.  Communicability is uncertain.  Treatment: None needed, take comfort measures for rash.  Limit direct contact.
    18. Pin Worm (Enterobiasis) – Symptoms: intense itching around anus, may lead to loss of sleep, irritability, scratching, skin irritation and sometimes vaginitis.  To be seen by doctor.  Crowded living conditions often enhance its spread to several members of a family.  Entire family may need to be treated at the same time.  Doctor will determine when child is ready to return to center.
    19. Strep Throat or other streptococcal infection – Symptoms: Fever and sore throat.  May also present with rash and earache.  May have home visitor or return to Center 24 hours after antibiotic treatment is started and cessation of fever.
    20. Tuberculosis – Symptoms include weight loss, fever, night sweats, cough and chills.  May not return to Center, or have a home visitor, until a health care provider or health official states that the child can attend the program.
    21. Scabies or other infestations – Symptoms: Itchy, red, raised eruption of the skin caused by a mite.  Can appear anywhere on the body.  The most characteristic burrow appears as a gray or white, tortuous, threadlike line.  May return to Center, or have home visitor after treatment is completed.
    22. Pertussis (Whooping Cough) – Symptoms: A highly contagious respiratory infection which produces an irritating spasmodic cough and often ends in a high pitched, inspiratory whoop.  May return, or have a home visitor, after completing of successful antibiotic treatment and child does not need supportive or respiratory treatment.
    23. Fever – Most pediatricians consider any thermometer reading above 100.4 degrees a sign of fever.  If your child has a fever, it is probably a sign that the body is fighting an infection.  The child may return to class, or have a home visitor, if there has been no fever in the preceding 24 hours.
    24. MRSA – Most MRSA infections appear as boils that are red, swollen, and painful and have pus or other drainage. You may notice blisters, or a wound that looks like a spider bite.  A fever and chills are common with MRSA.  This skin infection commonly occurs where there has been an open area on the skin such as a cut or abrasion.  Contact your health care provider for treatment. May return to the center, or have a home visit with consent of health care provider.
    25. Rotovirus – Symptoms: Diarrhea, low-grade fever, nausea and vomiting lasting 3 to 10 days.  May not return to the center, or have a home visit without the consent of the health care provider.
    26. Croup – A respiratory infection involving the throat and lungs.  Symptoms are a harsh cough, with breathing difficulties.  Child must be kept home, or will not be seen by the home visitor until cleared by a doctor.


If a child becomes ill at school, the child will be isolated from the other children on a cot in a quiet, suitable area.  An adult will stay with the child or be within visual and hearing distance of the child.

The child’s teacher will call the parent(s) or other contact person to inform them of the child’s illness and to request them to come and get the child.

If the parent(s) or contact person cannot pick the child up, but is home to receive the child, the teacher is responsible for making arrangements to transport the child home as soon as possible.

If the child becomes ill at home, and is in the home based program, the parent must call the home visitor to reschedule the visit.  Home visitors will not make visits when the child is ill.

The parent must present written documentation from the physician that the child is no longer contagious and is well enough to return to the center or have a home visitor.

Head Start reserves the right to admit or exclude children with communicable conditions from the program based on individual cases for the sole purpose of providing a healthy environment for all children.

Approved by the Geminus Head Start Parent Policy Council on 4/30/04.

Serving Northwest and Northern Indiana, Regional Health Systems supports programs in Benton, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke Counties and manages facilities in Cedar Lake, East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, Highland, Hobart, Lake Station, Merrillville, Valparaiso and Whiting, Indiana.

Our network of community-based health care and social services welcomes Indiana residents of all ages and income levels with fully integrated, streamlined services.

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