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Doctors and Dentists
CAAS Head Start’s Health Services believes that a child’s health and well-being affects his or her ability to develop and learn. Head Start works closely with families to ensure that children have comprehensive and preventative health care. Families are required to take their child for an annual physical examination and dental examinations.  Documentation of these examinations must be promptly submitted to the Health Services Supervisor at the CAAS Head Start office in Union Square or put in the Health Mailbox at the centers.  Children must be tested for lead by age 3 and have a T.B. risk assessment.  Head Start requires that all children be fully immunized for Diphtheria, Tetanus Pertussis, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, HIB, Hepatitis B and varicella.  CAAS Head Start measures children’s heights and weights twice during the program year.  Children also receive a hearing and vision test when they enter the program.  Children receive a dental screening as well.  We work with families and health care professionals to meet all of the individual health and nutritional needs of children in the program.

Sick Policy
Children should not come to school when they are sick. If your child has a fever, diarrhea or is vomiting, they should be kept home until they are feeling better.  Children need rest for their bodies when they are sick. If children arrive at school sick they could be sent home. If a child shows symptoms of illness while at school and can’t participate in all activities, children will be comforted and given a place in the classroom to rest until the end of the day. Parent will only be called with the child is vomiting or running a high fever to be sent home. There are many contagious diseases that children may contract. You must notify us if your child has any of the following:  Chicken Pox,  Strep Throat, Scarlet Fever, Hepatitis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Scabies, Pinworms, Ring-worm, Conjunctivitis, Impetigo, or the Flu.

Medication
All medication for children must be prescribed by a health care provider and can only be given with written authorization from the health provider and the parent or guardian.    Parents are responsible for administering newly prescribed oral medications and monitoring their child’s reaction for the first 24 hours. The Lead Teacher in the classroom will administer the appropriate medication to the child.  The Teacher will assume this responsibility in the Lead Teacher’s absence. All medication is kept in the original, labeled container with the child’s name, the name of the medication, the directions for usage and the expiration date. All non-rescue medications will be stored in a locked metal box and refrigerated, if necessary.

Tooth Brushing
Tooth brushing is part of the daily curriculum in Head Start classrooms.  Children brush their teeth at least once a day. Teachers supervise children as they brush their teeth. They teach children how to brush properly.  They talk about the importance of good dental hygiene.   Dental health is part of our curriculum. Children should brush their teeth at home too.

Allergies
Due to the increasing number of children and staff who are allergic to peanuts or other nuts, CAAS Head Start is a Nut/Peanut Free Zone.  We strive to have NO nuts and peanuts in any of our buildings.  Peanut/nut allergies are very serious and can be life threatening.  For this reason we ask for your full cooperation to keep all of our children and staff safe. Staff members and children are asked not to eat peanut butter or nuts before coming to school.  These requests may seem excessive, but they are necessary for the safety of all the children.  

  • No recipes or foods containing peanut butter or any form of nut are on the menu.
  • All labels are carefully read by the cooks and staff to ensure that none of the foods served contain “nuts”, “peanuts” or any other variety of nut that may cause an allergic reaction.
  • All staff, children, parents, and volunteers must wash their hands immediately upon entering classrooms/buildings. 

Nutrition
Head Start children receive a nutritious breakfast and lunch each day.  All meals are prepared by the Somerville Public Schools.  These meals provide two-thirds of the children’s daily nutritional needs.  Families receive a menu every month.   CAAS Head Start has a Nutrition Consultant that assists the Health Services Supervisor in meeting the individual nutritional needs of children. The Nutrition Consultant is available to families who would like additional support. Head Start is committed to providing children with a variety of healthy and seasonal foods that reflect diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  Parents are welcome to contribute ideas for the program’s meal and are encouraged to participate in the Health /Nutrition Advisory Committee. For more information about health and nutrition, contact Marie Evans, Health Services Supervisor at 617-623-7370 x126.

Car Safety
Transporting Children Safely: Did you know?

  • Massachusetts Law requires children to ride in child safety seats until they are 5 years old and weigh 40 pounds.
  • Infants under 20 pounds and one year olds should ride in a rear-facing child safety seat.
  • Children who weigh 20-40 pounds and who are one to four years of age should ride in a forward-facing child safety seat.
  • Children between 40 and 80 pounds, and less than 4’9’’ tall, should ride in a booster seat. A booster seat helps the seat belt to fit correctly and safely. 
  • Children 12 years old and under should sit in the rear seat whenever possible to reduce their risk of death and serious injury.

Never leave children in an unattended motor vehicle! Don’t text and drive!

3 Things to Learn about Car Safety

  1. The Right way to install a car seat. 85% of child safety seats are installed incorrectly. Ask a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to inspect your car seat – it’s free! Visit www.seatcheck.org or call 1-866-SEATCHECK.
  2. Seat belt safety rules. All children must be seat-belted.  Ever child must have his or her own safety belt.  No sharing.
  3. Airbag risks. Passenger side airbags pose significant risks to children.   If the airbag deploys, an infant or toddler could die and an older child could be seriously injured. All children under 12 should not ride in the front seat if there is an airbag.