Health & Wellness Information
School officials want to give parents information to help students stay healthy. Staph infections are common occurrences in schools each year. The district takes a number of steps to minimize the spread of staph and to educate students, staff and parents about prevention.
What is staph?
Staph is an abbreviated form of the bacteria staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus infections can occur in healthy, non-hospitalized people and usually cause skin infections. In fact, many healthy people carry staph bacteria in their noses without ever getting sick. But when the skin is punctured or broken, staph bacteria can enter the wound and cause an infection.
What does a staph infection look like?
The skin infection resembles pimples, boils, or spider bites. The infected area may appear red, feel hot, be painful, or cause itching.
How is staph spread? Staphylococcus is found on many surfaces and commonly on our skin. It is spread by contact with contaminated surfaces such as those in a locker room particularly razors, deodorant, towels, bar soap, and athletic equipment, etc. It can be spread by skin-to-skin contact through minor skin abrasions, or intact skin.
How can a staphylococcus infection be prevented? Hand washing is the most important way to prevent staph infections. The CISD athletic coaches and trainers are diligent in keeping locker rooms and equipment clean, and in teaching prevention to student athletes. Their health is CISD's number one concern. If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse or one of the CISD athletic trainers.
Other preventative measures by individuals include:
- Keeping skin clean with a daily bath or shower
- Practicing good hand washing
- Covering all cuts or lesions at all times
- Cleaning equipment and changing areas with 70% alcohol, Lysol, 10% bleach solution, or other labeled disinfectant
- Avoiding sharing personal items such as towels, razors, uniforms, bar soap
- Washing all athletic clothing with laundry detergent and drying in a hot dryer.
What is Carroll ISD doing to minimize the spread of staph in locker rooms? Each year our coaches, athletic trainers and sponsors talk about preventative staph measures with the student athletes. The maintenance and custodial staff thoroughly cleans the locker room areas weekly with a disinfectant that specifically targets and destroys staph. When warranted, the locker rooms are also fogged in an effort to prevent the spread of bacteria. CISD also requests that students empty their locker room lockers of all clothes and equipment each Wednesday to ensure they are taken home and washed thoroughly. This will also help ensure the entire locker is cleaned with the disinfectant. Everyday Clorox wipes are effective in washing down individual helmets, pads, mats, etc.
Can a student with staph still participate in extra-curricular activities? Student athletes who present with a suspicious rash are checked by the athletic trainer and referred to their physician as needed. All such rashes must be completely covered during games and practices. Situations are handled on a case-by-case basis dependent on the severity of the infection. If warranted, a student may have to refrain from participating until a time in which the infection is appropriately treated by antibiotics.
What should I do if I think I have a staph infection? A suspicious rash or “spider bite” should be seen by a physician for diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic treatment. Like a cold that can progressively turn into pneumonia when left untreated, an untreated staphylococcus infection can progress to serious systemic infections. In most cases, however, the infection can easily be treated. Be sure to contact your child’s principal, coach and/or school nurse if you believe your student has a staph infection.
Drug & Alcohol Abuse
Carroll ISD believes that student use of alcohol and illicit drugs is not only illegal, but harmful. Consequently, the district prohibits the use, sale, possession, and/or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by students on school premises or at any school activity, regardless of location. Compliance is mandatory, and students shall be disciplined if they are found to be in violation.
Carroll ISD offers comprehensive drug and alcohol abuse education at all grade levels as appropriate. Students in grades 5-12 participate in a voluntary drug and alcohol use survey every other year. This information provides valuable details about the extent of use and abuse among teens. To learn more about drug and alcohol abuse, visit the additional resources below:
Carroll ISD has a strict policy in handling head lice. Students who have head lice or nits are not permitted at school. Parents are encouraged to contact their family physician for treatment recommendations. A call to the school nurse and/or principal is also required.
For more information about head lice, visit the resources below: Centers for Disease Control
Eating Disorders and Obesity
Our society seems obsessed with thinness. Too often, teenagers receive mixed messages and equate thinness to success, popularity and beauty. For this and other reasons, some otherwise healthy teenagers - especially girls - turn their obsession with being thin into serious eating disorders and habits. Teenagers suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia require medical attention. The statistics can be scary. Studies indicate that by their first year of college, 4.5 to 18 percent of women and 0.4 percent of men have a history of bulimia and that as many as 1 in 100 females between the ages of 12 and 18 have anorexia.
For more information on eating disorders, visit the resources below: