Communicable Disease Control
REFER TO IMPORTANT HEALTH UPDATES (click here)
FOR INFORMATION ON RECENT HEALTH ISSUES
Ensuring adherence to Massachusetts immunization requirements, monitoring of infections and other diseases are important functions of the school nurse. The nurse works with parents, administrators, school staff, primary care providers, local and regional Boards of Health and other professionals to maintain a healthful environment.
What Can You Do?
To minimize the spread of disease, there are two primary defenses: up to date immunizations and simple hygiene. Diseases are often spread when people touch objects (doorknobs, desks, tables) that have been contaminated with germs from other individuals, and then touch their face. The MA Department of Public Health asks everyone to use Simple Hygiene Etiquette to prevent the transmission of infections and communicable diseases such as flu, measles, chicken pox, etc.
Simple Hygiene Etiquette
The following simple steps can help minimize the spread of disease/infection.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Wash your hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing. Wash with soap and warm water. Use regular soap. If using an alcohol-based gel, rub the gel into your hands until they are dry.
- Always cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw the tissue away. Cough or sneeze into your upper arm if you do not have a tissue. If you do cough or sneeze, cough into your left arm/elbow if you typically use your right hand to shake hands, open doors etc. Never sneeze into your bare hand. Wash your hands immediately after coughing or sneezing!
- Stay home if you are sick, especially if sick with a fever
- Teach children to wash their hands often. Washing with soap and water for 20 seconds is ideal; that is about how long it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song twice.
- Teach children the proper use of hand sanitizer. Gels, rubs and hand wipes all work well, as long as they contain at least 60% alcohol. Hand wipes must be disposed of properly. Monitor small children using gels as they may ingest it.
- Teach children to cough or sneeze into their sleeve, not their hand! Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing into the inside of their elbow. They shoudl wash their hands after blowing their nose or coughing into a tissue.
- Teach children to avoid touching their nose, mouth or eyes. They should keep their hands away from their face.
Caring For Someone Sick At Home
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 76, Section 12, specifically prohibits admitting a student to school without a Physician's Certificate documenting that the child has been successfully immunized against: Measles/Mumps and Rubella (MMR); Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (DPT); Polio, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus Influenza Type B (HIB) and Varicella (Chicken Pox) unless religious or medical exemptions apply. Exemptions must be on file in the nurse’s office and updated annually. For Immunization School Requirements, click here.
Note: Students entering 7th grade must have evidence of a 2nd varicella and Tdap immunization on file.
Children without proper immunizations:
- Upon recommendation by the school nurse to school administration, students will be excluded from school if immunizations are not up to date or if a student has a communicable disease so as to prevent transmission of the disease throughout the school.
- Your child will be at risk for contacting the disease
- Your child will be an infectious disease threat to others.
One example of an exclusion would be if there is a chickenpox outbreak at school and your child does not have documentation of having had either chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine. Another example would be if there is a medical or religious exemption on file at the time of the outbreak; your child will not be allowed to go to school for a length of time specified by the MA Department of Public Health since your child has no immunization against Chicken Pox. See also, the Parents Guide to Childhood Immunizations.
To obtain immunizations for your child, it is best to contact your child's healthcare provider in order to help maintain an accurate record. Brockton Neighborhood Health Center offers all immunizations. Please call to make an appointment for immunizations. If you have health insurance, remember to bring your insurance card. Brockton Health Center also offers complete health services. The Center is located at:
63 Main Street
PH: (508) 559 - 1567.
See the links below for detailed information on required immunizations, immunization schedules, immunization exemptions, or visit the MA Department of Public Health website.
Important Immunization Links:
What if You Don't Immunize Your Child?
Immunization Best Practices
School Immunization Requirements
Adult Immunization Guidelines
Vaccine Exemption & Exclusion Guidelines
Statement of Exemption From Vaccination and Immunization
Last update: Reviewed March 5, 2018