Medical Matters

Latest Health Matters

Whooping Cough (Pertussis) (18 May 2015)

There have been confirmed cases of Whooping Cough within the Senior School. Whooping Cough (Pertussis) is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs and airways.

The condition usually begins with a persistent dry and irritating cough that progresses to intense bouts of coughing.  The gasping for breath after one of these coughing bouts causes a distinctive ‘whooping’ noise, which is how the condition gets its name.

Other symptoms include a runny nose, raised temperature and vomiting after coughing.

If you suspect that you or your child has whooping cough we advise that you see your GP for appropriate testing and treatment.  For further details of whooping cough, including advice on how to treat it, please click here

The Great Outdoors (updated 18 May 2015)

From late Spring through to early autumn, we all start to venture outdoors to enjoy those precious moments of good weather. However, we are not the only ones…. Ticks too seem to enjoy the warmer weather. The Health Protection Agency is advising people to take care when visiting areas where ticks are present, to prevent tick bites and reduce the risk of Lyme disease.

Ticks are tiny spider like creatures found in grassy or wooded areas. They attach themselves to passing animals (both domestic and wild) and people, whereupon they latch on for several days.

The Health Protection Agency has provided some guidelines on both prevention and treatment of tick bites.

• Wear long sleeved tops and trousers which can be tucked into socks
• Avoid sandals and open toed shoes
• Use insect repellent
• Use tick collars and treatments on domestic pets
• Stick to paths and avoid walking through dense vegetation
• Inspect skin regularly, especially in skin folds, head and neck areas
• Check clothing for stray ticks
• Check pets regularly and thoroughly.

Many of our students are involved in outdoor pursuits such as Ten Tors and Duke of Edinburgh and I am sure a few of you enjoy camping. With these in mind I have attached some useful links on further prevention and treatment. or

Ebola (updated 12 November 2014)

Ebola virus disease is a serious illness that originated in Africa, where there is currently an outbreak. But for people living in countries outside Africa, it continues to be a very low threat.

However, the Health Protection Agency have advised that if you feel unwell with symptoms such as a fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, a sore throat, and intense muscle weakness within 21 days of coming back from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone, you should stay at home and immediately telephone 111 or 999 and explain that you have recently visited West Africa.

For further details and updates about Ebola please CLICK HERE


SEASONAL INFLUENZA (updated 12 November 2014)

Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by the type A flu (H1N1) virus.  Unfortunately schools provide the perfect environment for children to mix and spread the virus. With this mind it is important that if your child shows any flu like symptoms you must keep him away from school and follow the Health Protection Agency guidelines listed below:

  • If you have access to the internet you can check your symptoms using the NHS Direct symptom checker
  • If you don't have access to the internet or are still concerned, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or your GP.

Health Protection Advice

General hygiene can help to reduce transmission of all viruses, including the Influenza virus. This includes:

  • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible
  • Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully
  • Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to your face or to other people
  • Cleaning hard surfaces (such as door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product.

For further details on Seasonal Influenza including symptoms, treatment and returning to school CLICK HERE

QEH will continue to be led by the Health Protection Agency and the Local Authority with any issues regarding to Swine Flu or other infectious diseases.


I Spy with my little eye……(11 October 2014)

We have noticed that boys are frequenting the supermarkets nearby both before and after school. Ordinarily this would be acceptable if they were purchasing an apple for teacher, flowers for mum or even the daily broadsheets in the hope that they can polish up their knowledge about the economy, world affairs etc.. Alas, this is not to be the case and those carrier bags appear to contain a plethora of goodies of the food variety.

More and more boys are spending money on packets of sweets, chocolate, bags of cookies and fizzy drinks. They are attracted to the “buy one get one free” offers and emerge with not one cookie (which won’t do them any harm), not two cookies but boxes of 20! If they spend a few extra pennies this can buy them a further 20! (approx. £2.50 in total). Bearing in mind that an individual cookie is high in fat, sugars and calories, you can only imagine how many a box provides!

The same goes for sweets. Did you know that for approximately £1.00 your son can purchase three bags of strawberry laces! One bag contains over 50% of your recommended sugar allowance and approximately 13% of your recommended calorie intake. Let’s not even think about what the family dentist would say!

QEH catering continues to offer a wide variety of meals each day, based on the recommended healthy balanced diet, and also appreciates that boys need treats and so are therefore providing desserts which are lip smackingly delicious.

What we ask, is that you be aware that your son may be indulging in some sweet retail therapy and appreciate that it appears, in some areas, money does go far!


Don’t be a HEADCASE! (24 September 2014)

Rugby is one of those 'marmite' sports ... you either love it or hate it! From what we can gather lots of our boys love the game, playing both for the school and for clubs outside of school.

Rugby is never going to be a gentle skip across a flowery meadow. Instead it is an adrenaline filled game: fast, furious and to those who play a lot of fun. Because of the nature of this sport, players may sometimes suffer the odd bump, bruise and sprain.

Although our rugby coaches are first aid trained, we have employed a private paramedic crew which covers the Saturday fixtures. We are fortunate to have the team from Southwest Medical in attendance who, between them, have many years of paramedic field work under their belt. They should be highly visible in their fluorescent vests and are available to treat any injuries incurred during the match, so any concerns just go and ask them for help.

One injury we are always vigilant about is concussion. Staff have been trained how to recognise concussion and how to deal with such injuries. During school matches, if your son suffers from a head injury we will advise you so that you can keep a close eye on him and get him assessed if appropriate. However, whilst such injuries occurring within school time can be dealt with in the appropriate manner, it is harder for us to tackle those incurred outside of school e.g. club training and matches. We therefore ask that if your son suffers from a head injury during a weekend fixture and shows signs of concussion that you inform us accordingly. Not only can we keep a close eye on your son but we can also ensure that we follow the RFU guidelines for safe return to play. We know your son will be disappointed if he has to avoid play for a few weeks post concussion but this is the best route to recovery and reduces the risk of permanent damage.

So as advised by the RFU… don’t be a HEADCASE- stop and check for concussion and be vigilant post injury and treat accordingly.

Ears and Eyes

For further details regarding concussion and the RFU guidelines please CLICK HERE


WORDS OF WISDOM (updated 24 September 2014)

“One psychologist likened the teenage experience to the launch of a spacecraft…… With twelve years or so of training behind him, a pubescent boy makes his way to the launch pad. He climbs aboard “Adolescent One” as his mother and father bite their nails back at mission control. His mother is beside herself. He had promised to ring when he got to the moon, and anyway has he forgotten he’s got a dental appointment next Tuesday? But there is no communication: nothing. Well not exactly nothing: the radio operator allows the parents to listen in and they just about pick up what sound like grunts- though nobody can decipher them. The years go by, until a whole decade has passed and then suddenly- signals from outer space! He’s still alive! And even more remarkably, he has discovered the power of speech again…” (Rob Parsons, Teenagers 2007)

We realise this story resonates with many a parent. Life for a teenager (and parents) is a minefield filled with issues such as alcohol, exams, girls, drugs, bullying with a  good dose of hormones and body changes to top it all off. Often as parents we don’t know how and when to approach such subjects. At QEH we constantly resource books, literature and websites which we hope can offer us all some useful help and advice.

Some books on offer for loan are

  • Speakeasy: talking with your children about growing up
  • What’s happening to me
  • Let’s talk about sex (inc new chapter on internet safety)
  • Puberty Boy
  • Blame my brain, the amazing teenage brain revealed
  • Whatever! A down to earth guide to parenting teenagers
  • Teenagers! What every parent has to know
  • How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk

We have many more. If you would like to use these resources, please contact the school nurse team on 0117 9303062 or by e mail or

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