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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

  • Caused by nerve toxins produced by tetanus bacteria. It’s most commonly found in soil.
  • Symptoms include stiffness and convulsive spasms of skeletal muscles. The muscle stiffness usually involves the jaw (lockjaw) and neck.
  • Not contagious from person to person. It is the only vaccine preventable disease that is infectious but not contagious.
  • Spread from tetanus spores being introduced into the body through a puncture wound or laceration contaminated with:
    • soil
    • street dust or
    • animal or human feces
  • Symptoms usually appear within three to 21 days, but may range from one day to several months, depending on the character, extent and location of the wound; average is 10 to 14 days.
  • Note: Cases related to injection drug use, animal bites and lacerations have been reported.
Instructions for Schools
  • Vaccinations are given as part of the routine childhood immunization schedule and every 10 years as an adult.
  • Continued attention should be given to improving tetanus immunization in birth outside Canada and absence of immunization records.
Resources and related links:

Peel Public Health is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.

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: Wednesday January 13 2016