Purpose of the School Health Services Program
The primary purpose of the School Health Services Program is to promote the physical and emotional health of students and staff thereby maximizing the educational process. School Health Services are intended to play an integral part in support of the health care provided by parents and health instruction provided by teachers; indeed, the School Nurse often serves as the student’s vital link to medical and other community resources.
The Goals of the School Health Services Program are to:
a. Facilitate students’ access to a regular source of primary health care
b. Provide a system for expert handling of emergency medical situations
c. Provide mandated health screening programs and monitor or improve immunization status
d. Assist in the identification and resolution of students’ health and educational problems
e. Ensure comprehensive and appropriate health education is provided
f. Promote a healthful and safe environment, which facilitates learning
g. Provide a system for evaluation of the effectiveness of the school health program.
These goals form a framework for the development of specific program activities. A school needs--an assessment and inventory of existing and potential community resources--will identify priorities most crucial to each unique school district. The outcomes of an effective School Health Services Program should have measurable impact on students, staff, and community.
Chronic Health Conditions
Chronic health conditions are defined as “any physical or mental conditions that require long-term (more than 6 months) monitoring and/or management to control symptoms and to shape the course of the disease" (Corbin, 2001, p.1). Examples include a student with Down syndrome, a student born without an extremity or without vision, a student with cerebral palsy, a student with diabetes or asthma or seizure disorder, a student with chronic depression, allergies, or cancer. These students are not necessarily ill because of their condition they are just needing special interventions to control the concerns causing them limitations. If you have a student who is in need of special interventions at school relative to diabetes, asthma or seizures, please contact your school nurse and fill out the appropriate individualized healthcare plan form below.
The school nurse reserves the right to notify parents and send a child home if a communicable disease is suspected. In case of certain communicable diseases, the child cannot be readmitted to school until the school nurse has seen the child or a written statement from the child’s doctor gives permission for the child to return to school.
If your child has a fever or vomits at home, please keep them home at least twenty-four (24) hours after symptoms subside. If your child is sent home from school with these same symptoms, the 24-hour wait time is preferred before they return to school.
If your child has been diagnosed as having one of these communicable diseases, please notify the school to enable us to alert others to the symptoms and date of exposure:
1. Chicken Pox: incubation period 14-21 days. Rash associated with fever that occurs early and appears as successive crops of red, raised dots, turning into fluid-filled blisters, drying and forming scabs or crusts. Heaviest on the trunk of body. The child is excluded from school at least (7) days after eruption has appeared. The child may return to school once free of all symptoms even though scabs have not fallen off. Exposed children may attend school.
2. Pink Eye: Pink eye is an acute bacterial infection of the lining of the eyes. Symptoms may include redness, burning, itching and discharge of the eye. The child should see a physician for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Children should not attend school until they have received the prescribed treatment for a minimum of 24 hours and are no longer considered infectious.
3. Scarlet Fever & Streptococcal Sore throat: Incubation period is 2-7 days. Sudden onset of high fever, vomiting, sore throat, bright red, pinpoint rash appearing on the neck and chest. Check for a “strawberry” tongue. Streptococci sore throat is scarlet fever without the rash. Your child should be excluded from school at least (1) day if symptom free and on antibiotics for a 24 hour period.
4. Skin rashes: Some rashes and sores resemble more serious contagious diseases. The teacher or nurse is unable to diagnosis such conditions, which could be allergic reactions or a quick-spread case of impetigo. In some cases, the child will be excluded from school until it is determined if he/she has a contagious disease.
5. Tuberculosis: Because of recent increased incidences of Tuberculosis, some physicians have encouraged skin tests in children. Ask your physician about recommendations and symptoms of TB.
6. Head Lice: Screening for head lice is done as the need arises. Infected children will be excluded from school until treatment is received and lice are cleared. We suggest that you examine your child’s hair at the beginning of the school year and periodically throughout the year. If you detect head lice or nits, contact the school nurse so that we can give you further information and examine students in your children’s classes. Also, notify the parents of your children’s playmates so that they can check their hair.
Information about head lice:
The head louse usually stays on the head, attaching its eggs (nits) to the shaft of the hairs. Lice can reproduce quite rapidly since the eggs usually hatch within a week and the newly hatched young reach maturity and reproduce eggs within two or three weeks. Lice lay eggs on the hair shaft. The eggs are white or gray in color. They look like dandruff, but cannot be brushed or shaken off the hair.
Transmission of head lice:
Lice are usually acquired by direct contact with an infected person or indirectly by contact with personal belongings, especially clothing or headgear. Long hairstyles, the use and exchange of headbands, and the use and exchange of protective headgear in athletic programs create conditions for lice to spread.
Treatment of head lice:
Several types of shampoo prescribed to kill lice are on the market. You may consult your physician for recommended treatment.
PLEASE FOLLOW DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY FOR NONPRESCRIPTION LICE TREATMENTS:
a. Use shampoo as directed.
b. Use Debac comb (fine-toothed comb) to remove nits (lice eggs).
c. Put on clean clothes after shampooing and bathing.
d. Wash all clothing, towels, and bed linens used by persons with head lice; using very hot water and soap.
e. Dry-clean all clothing (including hats and coats) that cannot be washed.
f. All initially-infected persons should be retreated in 8-10 days.
g. To prevent spread, articles that come in contact with the head, neck, or shoulders should not be shared. (For example: combs, brushes, towels, hats, coats, etc.)
h. A child with nits or pediculosis should be excluded from school until treated.
Administering Prescription and/or Nonprescription Medications
School personnel may administer medications, subject to the following conditions:
1. The medication must be left at the school office accompanied by a permission form signed by a parent or guardian. The permission forms are available at the respective schools.
2. All prescription medication must be in a container properly labeled with the child’s name, doctor’s name, medication name and directions for administering.
3. Due to safety coordination, non-prescription medication requires authorization from a physician as well as parental permission. Aspirin, Tylenol and cough medicines, with the exception of cough drops, will be given only under these conditions. These medications must come in a labeled container with the child’s name, medication name and specific directions for administration of the medication.