It is our goal here in Sparta to provide your children with a safe and healthy environment in which to learn. Please notify the school as soon as possible of any medical concerns that your child may have. This information will help us meet your child's medical needs here at school. Please understand that this information is kept confidential and shared on a need to know basis only.
Reproductive Health Information
Important Notice to Parents from the Kent County Health Department
Kent County Health Department is working directly with Sparta Area Schools to make Kent County a healthier place to live. The State of Michigan requires schools to report the possible occurrence of any communicable disease to the local public health department on a weekly basis (Public Act 368 of 1978). To assist the school in reporting possible communicable diseases to the Health Department and prevent the spread of illness, please be as specific as possible when reporting your child's absence. When calling in for a child, please include a description of the symptoms of the illness (vomiting, diarrhea, fever, rash, etc.) and report the type of disease (if known) and who diagnosed the illness. Please inform the school if any suspected illness is later confirmed by a physician. Your cooperation with Sparta Area Schools and Kent County Health Department is greatly appreciated.
Sometimes it can be difficult figuring out if your child is ill and contagious enough to be kept home or if they are well enough to be sent to school. Here is a quick checklist to help you make this sometimes difficult decision. Please keep your child home from school if they have any of the following symptoms:
• Fever 100 degrees or higher
• Severe headache or stomachache
• Vomiting or diarrhea
• Severe sore throat
• Difficulty breathing
• Persistent cough
• Dizziness or fainting
• Skin eruptions or open sores
• Red and discharging eyes
Please remember that our school policy is your child must be fever free without any fever reducing medication for 24 hours before they may return to school.
Please notify the school if your child has been diagnosed with or you suspect they have a communicable disease such as chicken pox, impetigo, fifth disease, head lice, pink eye, scabies, strep throat, etc... This allows us to take proper precautions to try to prevent the spread of communicable diseases throughout the school and provide your child with a healthy and safe learning environment.
Getting your children immunized is an important way to protect their health. Make sure your child receives regular checkups at your doctor's office or local health clinic. Keep a record of your child's vaccinations. Provide the school with a copy of your child's vaccinations. If you wish to waive your child's immunizations, a waiver form is available in the school office.
Immunization requirements for children attending Michigan schools:
• Diphtheria, Pertussis - 4 doses (Must have 1 dose within last 10 years)
• Tetanus - 1 dose every 5 years
• Polio - 3 doses
• Measles, Mumps, Rubella - 2 doses
• Hepatitis B - 3 doses
• Varicella (Chickenpox) - 2 doses for everyone kindergarten and up
• Meiningicoccal - everyone 11 years and older
Breakfast is very important to children. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to:
• Concentrate better
• Have better problem-solving skills
• Have better hand-eye coordination
• Be more alert and creative
• Miss fewer days of school
• Be more physically active
Here's what forms the core of a healthy breakfast:
• Whole grains: Whole grain rolls, bagels, hot or cold whole grain cereals
• Low-fat protein: Hard boiled eggs, peanut butter, lean slices of meat and poultry or fish.
• Low-fat dairy: Skim milk, low-fat yogurt and low fat cheeses.
• Fruits and vegetables.
Sparta Area Schools offers breakfast for all students! If you have any questions please contact our Food Service Director: 616-887-1744
How much sleep do your kids need?
Kids are very busy with school, running around with friends, sports and doing homework!
• Ages 3-5 need 12-14 hours of sleep.
• Ages 5-10 need 10-11 hours of sleep.
• Ages 10-17 need 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep.
"Sleep is the power source that keeps your mind alert and calm. Every night and at every nap, sleep recharges the brain's battery. Sleeping well increases brainpower just as weight lifting builds stronger muscles, because sleeping well increases your attention span and allows you to be physically relaxed and mentally alert at the same time. Then you are at your personal best." (Weissbluth MD)
Exercise and Sunshine
The majority of children spend 6 hours a day sitting behind a classroom desk when they need exercise and sunshine to build bones and maintain a healthy weight. Discourage videogames and television after school and encourage/support children to spend time outside for sunshine, fresh air, and exercise to enhance overall health.
Sunshine has many benefits including:
• Natural Vitamin D source
• Boosts mood
• Encourages healthy circulation
• Enhances immune system
• Stimulates appetite and improves digestion, elimination, and metabolism
• Tends to clear up different skin disorders (acne, psoriasis, eczema)
When it comes to sunshine don't forget to protect you and your children from both UVA and UVB rays that are known to cause skin damage. If you or your children are in the sun between 10am and 4pm remember to apply and reapply sunscreen to prevent the harmful effects from the sun.
This is a simple thing and it's the best way to prevent infection and illness.
• Wet your hands with running water and apply soap.
• Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
• Continue rubbing hands for 15-20 seconds, or sing "Happy Birthday" twice through.
• Rinse hands well under running water.
• Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.
- The student's parent/guardian will give the school written permission and request the school to administer medication to their child. This permission will be kept on record by the school.
- Written instructions from a physician for prescription medications will include the name of the student, name of medication, dosage of the medication, route of administration, and time the medication is to be given to the student. This permission will be kept on record by the school.
- The permission by parent/guardian and physician instructions for administration of medications shall be renewed every school year.
- All prescription medication shall be kept in a labeled container as prepared by a pharmacy or physician with the student's name, the name of the medication, dosage, and the frequency of administration. Labeled containers will be kept until the end of the school year.
- Any non-prescribed (over-the-counter) medications will be accepted in original containers only.
- It is recommended that medications be brought to the school by the student's parent/guardian.
- All medication, both prescription and non-prescription (over-the counter), must be kept in the health room. Students are not to carry any medication on themselves. Exceptions can be made for emergency medications such as asthma inhalers and EpiPens for severe allergic reactions. Special written permission must be given by parents and Dr. and approved by school nurse and administration for students to carry their emergency medications on themselves and self medicate. This permission will be kept on record by the school.
- No changes to medication dosage or time of administration of medications will be made except by instructions from a physician.
- Parental/guardian request and physician's instructions for administration of medications shall be renewed every school year.
- Medications (prescribed and over-the-counter) left over at the end of the school year, or after a student has left the district, should be picked up by the parent/guardian. If this is not done, the school nurse will dispose of the medication and record the disposal of the medication on the medication log. This procedure will be witnessed and initialed by a second adult.
Head Lice Policy
If your child is confirmed with head lice here are some steps to follow for treatment/removal:
Killing the lice:
Completely soak the hair with baby oil, making sure to soak the scalp. Put a tight fitting shower cap on and leave on for 8 hours. After 8 hours remove the cap and wash out the oil. You may need to use dish soap to wash out the oil. You can also buy non-prescription lice shampoos at your local stores; use as directed.
The most important part of getting rid of lice is removing the eggs from the hair as lice shampoos/treatments do not remove eggs. COMB, COMB, COMB!! PICK, PICK, PICK!! In a well lit room, comb through the child's hair one section at a time using a nit comb. A metal nit comb works best and can be found at most grocery and drugstores. Remember that nits are hard to comb out of hair!
Wash all clothes, hats, scarves, bed/bath lines, or other items the infected person has used for 2 days prior to treatment in hot water and dry on the hot setting. Items that cannot be laundered can be dry cleaned or placed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks. Soak combs and brushes in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infected person sat or laid. If you choose to use chemical sprays, use them with caution in a well ventilated area. They can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
In Case of Emergency (ICE)
There is a medical emergency tool being used by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) that I would like to share with all of you. Some of you may have already heard of this and may have already done this, but for those of you that haven't, this is a really good idea.
1. Go into the contacts portion of your cell phone.
2. Enter ICE (In Case of Emergency) in the name portion of your contacts.
3. Enter the number(s) of a person(s) that you would want to be contacted in case of emergency.
4. Please get your family to do the same.
Again, EMS knows to check your cell phone and will use this tool if you provide it for them. The MERT (Medical Emergency Response Team) members in each of your school buildings can also use this tool in case of emergency here at school. I hope we never have to use it, but better to be prepared and not need it than not be prepared and need it.
Summer Safety Tips
- Always wear sunscreen while you are outside! Your skin is your first line of defense against infections so you want to keep it as healthy as possible. You can get a sunburn in the shade or in cloudy weather too. It is always better to protect your skin for many health reasons.
- Always wear helmets and protective gear while riding bikes, skateboards, roller blades, etc.
- Always obey the rules of the road while riding your bike. It's very important for you to watch for the cars as well as the cars watching out for you.
- Never swim alone. You should always have a partner while swimming just in case something happens. Even a good swimmer can have an emergency!