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School Health Reference Guide


The Region of Peel School Health Reference Guide is a supplementary resource to relevant Peel and Dufferin-Peel school board policies. Refer to school board policy first if you have questions or concerns.

Childhood Diseases and Illnesses

Rabies/Animal Bites
  • Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the central nervous system of humans and warm-blooded animals. It is spread through the saliva and mucus membranes of an infected animal such as a dog, cat, fox, skunk, raccoon, coyote, bat and other wild animals. Pets and humans can become infected when they come in contact with these animals.
  • Rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, rats and mice are rarely infected with rabies but may carry other harmful germs. A physician should be consulted for these types of animal bites.
  • Humans and other mammals can become infected through a bite, cut or scratch from an animal with rabies or if the rabies virus comes into contact with the mucus membranes in their mouth, nose or eyes.
  • Rabies can be prevented if you seek medical treatment promptly following exposure to a rabid animal. Once symptoms appear, rabies is always fatal in animals and people.
Instructions for Schools
  • Report all animal bites IMMEDIATELY to Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 with the following information:
    • Name and address of the victim (and the name of their parent/guardian if they are under 16 years old
    • telephone number(s)
    • age and weight of the victim
    • a description of the animal
    • name, address and telephone number(s) of the animal's owner
    • a brief description of what happened.
  • In addition, if the animal is a stray or a wild animal, get a good description of the animal, its location and report it to the local animal control office.
    • In Brampton 905-485-5800
    • In Caledon 905-584-2272
    • In Mississauga 905-896-5858
  • Wash the affected area well with soap and water and flush the wound with running water.
  • Ensure the victim gets medical attention as soon as possible. 
  • Remember to protect the confidentiality of the student by not disclosing a diagnosis to concerned parents and/or colleagues. If contact follow up of those exposed is required Peel Public Health will contact those who are at risk
  • Do not touch or feed stray or wild animals.
  • Avoid having animals that may bite in the classroom
  • Have pets vaccinated against rabies as recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Teach children about animal safety.
  • Educational information is available from the Environmental Health Division of Peel Public Health.
Resources and related links:

Peel Public Health is not responsible for the content of the linked websites and the information presented there

For more information on communicable disease resources and programs,
call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700.(In Caledon, call 905-584-2216.)


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Revised: Thursday February 18 2016