Precautionary Letter

Dear Parents and Guardians:

We are writing this letter strictly as a precautionary measure in order to inform you that, although there are NO confirmed cases of Staphylococcus infections (staph) with any of our sports teams’ athletes or in the high school, we believe it prudent to enlist your assistance in monitoring your children and encouraging good hygiene after practices, games, and gym classes.

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria carried on the skin of healthy people and it doesn’t normally cause any issues. However, a cut, abrasion, or other skin damage may allow the bacteria to enter the skin which can cause a possible staph infection. Staph infection symptoms may include redness, areas warm to the touch, pain, drainage, discomfort, and swelling.  If a diagnosis of staph is made, the infection is treated with an antibiotic. If your child is displaying any of these symptoms, or if you have concerns about your child’s health, please contact his or her private physician. It is also very important to report a diagnosed or a suspected infectious condition to the school nurse and our certified athletic trainer John Panos. As always, health information is kept strictly confidential.

Following are some of the actions taken to date to prevent staph from becoming a problem in the Fox Chapel Area School District:

• We continue to encourage good hygiene practices with our entire student population.
• Student desks, doorknobs, chairs, etc. continue to be cleaned with a disinfectant that kills the bacteria which causes staph.
• Coaches are asking students to take their practice clothing home daily and to wash it thoroughly on a nightly basis.
• Athletes have been instructed to report open sores and abrasions to athletic trainer John Panos.
• Common areas, such as restrooms and locker rooms, continue to be disinfected daily.

It is important that students not share clothing and that items worn for physical education classes or athletic practices be taken home and washed each night. Again, if your child is diagnosed with staph, please contact the school nurse or John Panos as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Michael Hower, Lead Principal, and Michael O’Brien, Athletic Director

September 7, 2017