Health and Safety Division        

“It has been proven that children learn best in healthy and safe environments that offer individual opportunities for nurturing relationships with the Teachers, and a physical environment that supports health practices.”

The Health and Safety Division is comprised of medical, dental, nutrition and transportation. Our primary purpose is to:

  • Determine your child’s health status.
  • Whether or not your child has accessible and ongoing health care.
  • Obtain from a health care professional a determination as to whether your child is up to date on a series of age appropriate preventative and primary health care which includes medical and dental.

The program collaborates with other Tribal programs and professionals for health information, referrals and services. We believe that it is essential to provide the parent/guardian with a clear definition and description of your child’s health screens and how health plays in the outcome of your child’s education. Strong effective partnerships with parents and community resources are the key to successful implementation of the Head Start Program Performance Standards, and most importantly, healthy kids! 

The Health Division is also mandated to have all medical records on file and up-to-date within ninety (90) days.  It is very important you maintain communication with the Health Division regarding your child’s health and records.  We are able to fax medical providers if you sign the appropriate resale from to allow us to do so.  NiMiiPuu Health has their own release form. 

The Health & Safety Specialist does not diagnose or prescribe treatment for illness. Program staff cannot provide care for sick children; therefore, please start the day with a quick health assessment of your child. 

Medical Emergency Procedures

In the event that a child is too ill to remain at the center, parents will be notified to immediately pick up their child. If the parent(s) cannot be reached, we will refer to the persons listed on the Child Enrollment Registration form. For the health and comfort of your child, please ensure updated and working phone numbers are provided at all times.

In Case of Injury to a Child:

  • Staff will administer first aid as necessary;
  • Staff shall contact the parent/guardian and/or emergency contact persons.

If the Child Needs Emergency Medical Treatment:

  • Staff will call 911;
  • The program will transport the child to NiMiiPuu Health Clinic which the closest medical facility;
  • The Child Enrollment Registration Form authorizing emergency medical or dental treatment shall be removed;
  • If the child must be transported to NiMiiPuu Health, and the parent is not present, a staff member will accompany and stay with the child until the parent(s) arrive.


Conditions for which your child would be included or excluded are bases upon the Caring for Our Children, National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care Programs:

Temporary exclusion is recommended when the child has any of the following conditions:

  1. The illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in activities;
  2. The illness results in a need for care that is greater than the staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children;
  3. A severely ill appearance-this could include lethargy/ lack of responsiveness, irritability, persistent crying, difficult breathing, or having a quickly spreading rash;
  4. Fever of 100 degrees with a behavior change for children older than 2 months. For children under 2 months, a fever of 100.4 with or without behavior change;  and
  5. Other illness that require exclusion below:
Fever with behavior change of other sign of illnessTemperature of 100 degrees or higher
Symptoms and signs of possible severe illnessUntil medical evaluation allows inclusion
Uncontrolled diarrhea/ diarrheaStool runs out of diaper or the child cannot get to the toilet in time, until it is controlled or stops. Also, when stool frequency is 2 above normal for that child
VomitingMore than once in the previous twenty-four (24) hour period or until a health care provider determines that the child may return and is not in danger of dehydration
Abdominal PainPain that last more than 2 hours or intermittent pain associated with fever or other signs or symptoms or illness
Mouth Sores with DroolingUntil a health care provider determines the condition is not from a communicable disease
Rash with Fever or Behavior ChangeUntil a health care provider determines that the child may return to the center
Pink Eye (purulent, bacterial conjunctivitis)Exclusion is no longer required for this condition
Head Lice, Scabies, or other InfestationExclude at end of the day and child can return once treatment has started. In case of head lice, the child is nit free and child will be sent home right away with live louse
Tuberculosis (TB)Until after treatment has begun, fever is gone, and a health official states the child is non-infectious
ImpetigoLesions should be covered and exclude at end of the day. Child can return once treatment has started or until six (6) days after the last spot breaks out or sooner if all sores have dried up and crusted over
Strep Throat or Streptococcal InfectionsChild can return when child has had 2 doses of antibiotic
Chicken PoxUntil six (6) days after last sport breaks out or sooner if all sores have dried up and crusted over
Pertussis (whooping cough)Until five (5) days after appropriate antibiotic treatment has begun
MumpsUntil nine (5) days after onset of rash
Hepatitis AUntil one (1) week after onset of illness and fever is gone, or as directed by local health department after immunoglobulin has been given to appropriate children and staff
MeaslesUntil six (4) days after onset of rash
RubellaUntil six (7) days after onset of rash

The final decision to exclude a child from the center will be made by the Health & Safety Specialist. The parent will be telephoned and the child must be picked up immediately or parent must make arrangements for someone to pick up their child.  We cannot diagnose, however if your child just doesn’t seem well or want to participate we will take precautions to ensure ratio is maintained and to prevent further illness from spreading. 

Universal Precautions

Universal Precautions is the term for infection control measures all health care workers and child care providers should follow, to protect themselves and children from infectious disease.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires who might come in contact with bloods and other bodily fluids (i.e. stool, urine, vomit, draining wounds) to practice the following:

Hand washing:

  • After diapering or toileting children; 
  • After handling body fluids of any kind;
  • Before and after giving first aid (i.e. cleaning cuts, scratches and bloody noses);
  • After cleaning up spills or objects contaminated with body fluids;
  • After taking off disposable gloves;
  • Before handling or eating food

Latex gloves will be worn by all staff:

  • When they come in contact with blood or body fluids which contain blood (i.e. vomit, feces which contain blood you can see);
  • When individuals have cuts, scratches, or rashes which cause breaks in the skin of their hands;
  • During diaper changing

Environmental Disinfection

  • Done regularly and as needed;
  • Cleaning surfaces, toys and diapering areas with a bleach solution (one (1) tablespoon bleach per quart of water made daily);
  • Stronger solutions of ¼ cup of bleach to 2 ½ cups water for blood spills or objects with blood on them;
  • Wearing gloves when handling blood; spill kits are used when any type of body fluid needs to be cleaned off of surfaces

Proper Disposal

  • Materials that are soaked in or caked with blood requires double bagging in plastic bag that is securely tied;
  • Send items home with child

Why is it needed?

  • Germs are spread through blood and body fluids;
  • Possible infection with bacteria or virus;
  • Infected person may not know they are infected;
  • Behave as if every person may be infected with a germ in all situations;
  • Remember: Wearing gloves does not mean that you don’t have to wash your hands

Attendance Policy for out due to illness:

If your child is absent three (3) days consecutive due to illness, a doctor’s note or photo copy of a prescription is needed to assist the Health & Safety Division in determining if the child is non-contagious and/or healthy enough to participate in an early learning environment, i.e., outdoor play, nature walks, learning centers.

Health and Safety Frequently Asked Questions F.A.Q

Q: What are “Emergency Contacts?” 

A: Emergency contact people (at least three) are individuals whom you feel comfortable picking up and caring for your child if you are unable to be reached.  Please notify those individuals that you have listed them so they are not surprised should we have to contact them.  We ask that you always have updated contact information in case of an emergency.  This information is listed on the Child Enrollment Registration Form.

Q: What if my child is found to have lice or nits?

A: If your child is found to have nits, he/she can remain at school for the rest of the day.  The bus will not pick up your child the following day.  Your child must be screened and cleared from the Health Division prior to returning to school.  If your child has live louse, he/she will need to be picked up immediately and will not be picked up by the bus the following day.  Again, your child will need screened by the Health Division before returning to class.

Head Lice Policy

Head checks will be done every Thursday and as needed.

Below is the Blue Dot Policy:


  • May remain in school for the remainder of the day;
  • A sample of the nit will be taped on a letter sent home;
  • Treat your child and accompany your child the following day to the Health Division where your child will be screened;
  • If your child is cleared of all nits and lice, he/she may return to class;
  • If you child is not free of nits you will be asked to retreat your child;
  • Bus services will not be available until your child is cleared from the Health Division


  • Must immediately be picked up from school;
  • A sample of the louse will be taped on a letter sent home;
  • Treat your child and accompany your child the following day to the Health Division where your child will be screened;
  • If your child is cleared of all nits and lice, he/she may return to class;
  • If you child is not free of nits and lice you will be asked to retreat your child;
  • Bus services will not be available until your child is cleared from the Health & Safety Division

Q: When do registration packets, physicals, and immunizations need to be completed?

A: Every new school year, both new and returning Early Head Start and Head Start students must complete an application, along with updated physical and immunizations.  Health records must be turned in within 45 days of enrollment.  It is your responsibility to ensure the Health Division has these records and that they are up-to-date.

Q: What will happen during an emergency closure due to weather, no electricity, or water?

A: We cannot plan for these unexpected events but staff will work with the tribal government to assess the situation and make a determination based on the severity of the circumstance. The main goal is the safety of the children in our care so it will be determined what is best regarding the situation. Each case will be different and the outcomes will be based on the event. If we close unexpectedly we request you please pick up your child immediately for their safety and comfort.

Q:  How can I find out if the center is closed? 

A:  School closures may occur due to adverse weather conditions, death in the community, building maintenance, staff coverage, or other unplanned emergencies.  Please call the center, the main Tribal Offices (208-843-2253), tune into local radio stations, or check social media for information. For all other closures, please check the monthly calendar that is distributed in your child’s cubby/folder every month. Family Services may message/email/call you to let you know from your preferred method of contact. Please make sure your contact information is up to date.


MH may close due to weather conditions during winter months.  Please tune into these local radio stations or call for more information:

KVTY—105.1 FM

KATW—101.5 FM

KZFN—106.1 FM

KMOK—106.9 FM



KIYE – 88.7 Kamiah & 105.5 Lapwai 

The school calendar is 128 school days.  Please note the calendar is subject to change due to unscheduled school closures.

Q:  What should my child wear to school?

A: Please dress your child in comfortable play clothes and sensible shoes-no flip flops, jelly shoes, or dress shoes.  Children work and play hard and should not have to worry about staying clean.  Getting dirty and exploring are developmentally appropriate experiences for children. Please bring a change of clothes for your child in case of accidents. For children who are not completely toilet trained, send two complete changes of clothes. Remember to dress for the weather.

Q: What personal belongings should my child bring to school?

A: Your child should bring a blanket for nap/quiet time and a backpack for their extra clothing. We request that you do not bring anything of value to school such as items that are not easily replaceable or can get lost or broken. We are not responsible for lost or broken items you choose to bring to the center.

Q: Do you service children with special needs?

A: Yes, we work with local school districts to determine the best placement for children with special needs. If you have any questions, please contact our Education Specialist.