Gastroenteritis Forces Dubai School Closure

The Kindergarten Starters, a GEMS Education school in Al Garhoud, has been forced to close after ‘dozens’ of students became ill with what has now been confirmed as gastroenteritis.
Gastroenteritis Forces Dubai School Closure
By Jenny Mollon
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Parents have been informed that The Kindergarten Starters, a GEMS Education school, will be closed for two days, April 10th and April 11th as a precautionary measure following the outbreak gastroenteritis which left 'dozens' of children ill.

This precautionary closure will give the school time to carry out a deep clean of the entire premises. According to media reports, this process will include fumigation, cleaning of air conditioning ducts and sanitation of large surface areas.

An Indian CBSE curriculum primary school, The Kindergarten Starters has more than 5000 enrolled students. The school had just reopened after the recent vacation, welcoming many students back from international travel.

According to a Gulf News report, on Monday 8th April, one child had vomited in the corridor, and late that evening approximately two dozen children were reported sick with symptoms of both vomiting and body ache. Both Dubai Municipality and Dubai Health Authority have since visited the school premises to assess the situation.

The school issued an email to parents, quoted in The Khaleej Times. It says:

“The school is following all prescribed procedures, working together with GEMS Education’s dedicated health and safety team to closely monitor and investigate all developments, taking all necessary actions to resolve the situation as quickly as possible”.

The email went on to remind parents to consult a doctor if their child complained of nausea, fever or stomach ache. It also said that the KHDA had instructed the school to make up the lost working days later in the year.

The news comes as a number of nurseries spoke to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com to remind parents of the importance of keeping sick children off school as a precaution to prevent the spread of infection

At Kent College Dubai, the team have recently implemented a series of new, more stringent protocols for monitoring health and preventing the spread of infection. In a message to parents, Mrs Carmella Jodrell, Head of Junior School said,

"We are implementing a new system of checking temperatures upon children’s return to school following sickness. Very soon a new, dedicated nurse solely for the EYFS department will be joining Kent College.  She will be responsible for this temperature check".

Explaining these measures to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, Mrs Jodrell went on to say that;

"It is paramount that schools ensure a high level of hygiene and cleanliness for all members of the school community. We do this in a number of ways: through regular deep cleaning of classrooms, by having an open dialogue with parents to understand why a child may have been absent and by having teachers who are not only first aid qualified, but vigilant and able to recognise signs of illness of a child in their care.

Ultimately, our aim is to work closely with families to protect their child from the spread of infectious illnesses".

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