Health Resources and Links
On this page you will find information a wide range of medical conditions and health issues, as well as links to resources that will help you, and your student, remain healthy and active.
Asthma is a serious chronic disease that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs, and can cause recurring attacks of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing. Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In Vermont, about 67,000 people are known to have asthma. Nearly 13,000 of them are children. (Source: Healthy Vermonters 2020).
Pediculosis ( otherwise known as head lice) has been around for decades and isn’t expected to leave any time soon. Head lice do not jump, hop, or fly. Most exposure incidents happen from direct head-to-head contact with someone who has live lice. Pets do not carry and transmit head lice.
Head lice are parasites that are generally found on the scalp, around the ears, and at the back of the neck. The adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed, and can be the color of your child’s hair. Eggs, or nits, are smaller and silver in color. All too often, the presence of nits without live lice is often mistakenly identified as an active case.
A recent journal article in “Pediatrics” reveals that “head lice are not a health hazard or a sign of poor hygiene and are not responsible for the spread of any disease. Despite this knowledge, there is significant stigma resulting from head lice infestations in many developed countries, resulting in children being ostracized from their schools, friends, and other social events.” In fact, head lice is not a sign of poor hygiene, and there is no connection between head lice and the spread of disease.
The best ways to protect against head lice include:
- Avoid direct head-to-head contact.
- No sharing of personal articles of clothing, hair accessories, hair brushes etc unless cleaned first.
- Store clothing by itself away from contact with others.
To treat active head lice:
- First line of treatment should be an over the counter lice shampoo and applied according to package directions. Follow the directions exactly in order to be most effective.
- Following the shampoo, comb out the wet hair using a fine tooth comb or the nit comb contained in the shampoo package.
- Wash all recently worn articles of clothing, bedding, towels, hats in hot water or dry-clean them. Brushes, combs, and hair clips should also be placed in hot water.
- Stuffed animals can be put in a tightly closed plastic bag for 14 days or placed in a hot dryer for 30 minutes to kill any lice.
Doctors recommend that anyone 6 months or older should get a flu vaccine. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop an immune response. In the United States, influenza season usually begins in October and can last until May.
Bright Futures/American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an annual well exam. You can learn more about well exams, how often you should have one, and what you can expect to happen at one by reading the following document: Well Exams.
Annual Health Questionnaire (Print version)
Effective July 1, 2016, Vermont's philosophic exemption from school and childcare immunizations was eliminated.
Vermont Law now requires all students to be immunized, unless they are exempt, prior to school entry.
You can read or download the new rules by opening these two links:
If you believe your child has already had the chickenpox, a department of health vaccination form will need to be signed by the parent and submitted to the school nurse acknowledging the approximate date of illness. You can find this document here: VT Dept of Health/Chickenpox
Immunization Rates and Requirements
Vermont Law requires all students to be immunized, unless exempt, prior to school entry. In 2012, statutory changes were passed that require annual aggregate reporting of immunization data for the entire student body to be made publicly available. The Vermont Department of Health receives population-based immunization information from each Vermont school annually by January 1st and reviews the data to ensure it is accurate.
Vermont's Immunization Rule sets minimum immunization requirements for attendance at child care, K – 12 schools, and colleges to protect students, staff, and visitors against vaccine-preventable diseases. Follow this link for detailed information about school year 2016-17 immunization rates: Immunization Rates and Requirements