Health Protection
Public Health Services
Le Bas Centre, St. Saviour’s Road,
St Helier, Jersey, JE1 4HR
Tel:  (01534) 623712
Fax:  (01534) 623720

Dear Parent/ Guardian

This information is to provide you with some information on the control of gastro-intestinal diseases (sickness and diarrhoea).

If a child is affected by vomiting and/or diarrhoea, the illness can quite easily and quickly spread to others in the school, teachers and children.   This is largely due to the close contact in the classroom environment.

You may be aware that the Health Protection Department has devised an exclusion policy for children under 5. This states that they must remain absent from school or nursery until they have been free from symptoms for 48 hours.   This is because children of this age are a ‘high risk group’ – they can be affected very badly by the symptoms of the illness.   Older children have greater immunity and so may not be affected so severely.

Should your child develop diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach ache, fever and/or headache, we would ask that you bear the following in mind:-

1.    Your child is infectious for the duration of the illness, and should remain off school during this time.

2.    They will remain infectious for at least 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped, and could spread the infection to family members, or pupils/staff if they return to school.   They must observe good hygiene practices.   Hands must be washed with soap and hot water and dried with disposable towels, or their own designated hand towel, after using the toilet and before eating and/or handling food. The child should also remain absent from school for 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped to help prevent spread of the infection.

3.    Your child’s illness may be due to a variety of organisms, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Giardia, Dysentry, E Coli and viruses.   To identify what is causing the illness, we would ask that a faecal sample be submitted to the Pathology Lab, via your GP.

4.    As the illness can be water-borne, your child should not swim during the period of infectivity.  Most pools will have their own exclusion policy.

Your child’s school will have been provide with information on how to deal with incidents of vomiting and/or diarrhoea in the school, so as to minimise the spread of the illness.

Your co-operation with this policy is appreciated.   Should you require any further information, please contact your child’s school or myself.

Yours sincerely

Laura Smith
Environmental Health Officer
Direct dial: 623734