Classroom Cooties: Top Sicknesses and Stats from Katy School Nurses


By Jennifer Miko

Every year, parents enthusiastically send their children off to school to learn in a classroom, make new friends and play during recess. Sounds perfect. Until the first cough, sniffle, or late-night fever spikes. Now school has become ground zero for childhood cooties.

Katy ISD’s Director of Health Services, Therese D. Highnote, RN, BSN has treated a lot of school-day sicknesses during her 21 years in the district. She worked at Hayes Elementary, Memorial Parkway Junior High, Seven Lakes High School and WoodCreek Junior High.

Highnote said the most common ailments or complaints this time of year include: Headache, stomachache, nausea, vomiting, heat-related issues, allergies, bacterial/viral illnesses, ear pain and sore throat.

Katy Magazine asked Highnote to put elementary school ailments into perspective.

Last year, there were 177 school days and approximately 35 weeks of school. Highnote reports that the nurses in the 42 elementary campuses were very busy.

Top Classroom Cooties

Ear Infections

What to watch for: ear pain and fever

Ear infections commonly occur when fluid behind the eardrum, or in the middle ear, becomes trapped due to inflammation and becomes infected. The inflammation can be caused by colds, sinus or throat infections, and even allergy attacks.