Health Issues

Health Issues

Immunization Information

At Norseman:
A copy of a child's immunization record (the yellow card) is provided to the school when a child enters the school. The Public Health Department monitors these records to ensure that immunizations are kept up to date. Each year Public Health sends letters to parents of those whose record is not up to date requesting proof of immunization. If immunization is not maintained the student may be suspended.

Hepatitis B immunization for grade 7's, and HPV immunization for grade 8 girls, are administered by Public Health Nurses in the school over the course of the year.  Information and forms will come home before these dates arrive.  There is no charge for this immunization through the school, but you can still have your child immunized at their own doctor's office if you choose.


  • The Public Health Department has an information hotline that you can call for Immunization information (416)392-1250 or check out their Web site.
  • Ontario Ministry of Health - Immunization
  • Immunization Awareness Program
  • The Canadian Pediatric Society Immunization Information

Peanut Allergy Information

Peanut allergies are one of the most common food allergies, especially in children. This allergy can be so severe that even trace amounts of a peanut can be fatal. Nuts, nut products, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds can also trigger severe allergic reactions.

At Norseman:
Here at Norseman, we do have children who have anaphylactic (life threatening) allergic reactions to nuts, nut products, peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and other foods. Although we cannot guarantee a PEANUT/NUT/SEED FREE environment at Norseman, we do ask parents and guardians to keep this in mind when preparing lunches, classroom snacks, and field trip lunches. It is also suggested that if your child does have peanuts/nuts/seeds or peanut butter at breakfast or when they go home for lunch, that they brush their teeth and wash their hands and face before coming to school. It only takes a tiny amount of peanut/nuts/seeds particles or residue to cause some students to react. Therefore, it is crucial that everyone does their part to make Norseman Junior Middle School safe for all children attending.

An anaphylactic allergic reaction may include:

  • nausea, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea
  • hives, itching, redness or swelling of eyelids/lips/skin
  • trouble swallowing due to various degrees of breathing problems, wheezing, tightness in the throat or chest.
  • dizziness
  • unconsciousness or even death

Cross contamination is a common cause of anaphylactic reactions. Wiping a utensil after use is not an adequate method of cleaning. The utensil may appear clean but the remaining food residue can be all it takes to trigger a reaction.

All Norseman staff including Lunchroom Attendants are trained in the use of EpiPens and anaphylactic protocol. A workshop is held each fall for review and for any new staff. There are also videos available for teachers to use to educate students about anaphylactic reactions. Children are reminded not to share lunches or snacks in the lunchroom or at recess, because even if they do not have food allergies, sharing can be either tempting or awkward for those children who do.


  • Anaphylaxis in Schools and Child Care Settings - The Ontario Medical Association's Web site provides this information from the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Ontario Allergy Society, and Allergy Asthma Information Association.
  • Parents of School Age Children Community - Canadian Parents online Article.

Head Lice (Pediculosis) Information

At Norseman:
Clean Sweep is the name given to our head lice screening program at Norseman. Clean Sweep is staffed by trained parent volunteers. If a child is absent on the day of screening they will be checked upon their return to school. A permission form is sent home prior to screening and if a parent refuses permission they are expected to check their child themselves. If you find that your child has head lice notify the school so that we can take the appropriate steps to contain the situation. 


Dental Screening

At Norseman:
Once a year the Public Health Department conducts a dental screening of Norseman students. Permission forms are sent home and all students are checked unless parents refused this service.


  • Public Health Department Dental Services
  • Fluoride Healthy Teeth

Vision Testing

"Good Vision Can Help Your Child Do Well In School" Toronto District School Board brochure. Note The Public Health Department does not test student's vision; however, a "Sight and Sound" Clinic is offered each year at the school for a nominal fee.

Hearing Health for Children

Children learn speech and language from listening to others. The first few years are particularly critical for speech and language development. However, if a hearing loss exists, a child does not get the full benefit of language learning experiences. And if a hearing loss goes unnoticed, delays in speech and language can occur. For this reason, early diagnosis of a hearing loss is important.

Ear Infections and Your Child:
Recurring ear infections can place your child at greater risk for developing speech and language problems. Middle ear infections, or otitis media, are common in young children (usually from birth to the age of three). Acute otitis media can be painful, and typically starts with a cold. In most children, acuteotitis media resolves quickly.

However, ear infections with fluid (called otitis media with effusion or OME), are a different story. This kind of ear infection is usually associated with a thick fluid that fills the middle ear, interfering with the t OME can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. About 25 to 50 per cent of OME cases are "silent", meaning that there are no symptoms. OME is usually not painful.

If you notice that your child is inattentive, pulling or scratching the ears, irritable, and/or listless, see your physician as soon as possible. If you suspect that your child has a hearing loss, contact an audiologist.

Warning Signs that may indicate chronic or recurring fluid in the ear are:

  • inattentiveness
  • wanting the television or radio louder than usual
  • misunderstanding directions
  • unexplained irritability
  • listlessness

Where to Go For Help
Ear infections require immediate attention from a physician. If your child has frequently recurring infections and/or chronic fluid in the middle ear, two additional specialists may be consulted: an audiologist and a speech-language pathologist.

An audiologist will assess the severity of any hearing loss, even in a very young or uncooperative child. A speech-language pathologist will evaluate your child's specific speech and language skills and will recommend and/or provide treatment.

Parents and teachers who notice a child says "What?" repeatedly should ask for a hearing test from an audiologist. No child is too young to be tested. Hearing loss can be diagnosed and treated in newborn babies.

If you think your child may have a hearing problem:

  • talk to your family doctor. If required, you can be referred to an ear, nose, and throat doctor (otolaryngologist) or audiologist.
  • call an audiologist.
  • call your local health unit.


This information was provided by the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists - a national non-profit association


Early Detection is the Key:If you are a parent of a pre-school child and you suspect a speech and language problems, don't wait until he/she starts school to check it out. Often early detection and treatment can ensure better beginnings for school and more time to develop the skills needed for school.

The Public Health Department does not conduct hearing screening tests in the schools; however, a "Sight and Sound" Clinic is held each year at the school for a nominal fee.


  • Toronto Preschool Speech and Language Services is a free service available to children from birth until they enter Senior Kindergarten.
  • Ontario Speech-Language and Audiology Association (OSLA) may be contacted at 416-920-3676 for information on audiology assessments in Ontario.
  • Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists