HEALTH ROOM/NURSING SERVICES
Article XIV of the Pennsylvania Public School Code provides that all children attending public, private, and parochial schools receive school health services. These services include medical and dental examinations and four different health screenings (growth, vision, hearing, and scoliosis) at specified intervals; first aid/ emergency care; maintenance of student health records; and assessment for school immunizations.
It is important to note that Pennsylvania State Health Law requires a physical examination upon entrance to school in kindergarten or grade one and again in grades six and eleven. Dental examinations are required in kindergarten or grade one and in grades three and seven. If your child is new to Pennsylvania schools, current physical with immunization record and dental examinations are required.
Please feel free to contact your school nurse regarding health issues that might arise for your child during the school year. We recommend that if your child has special health concerns or requires special considerations as they relate to medical needs, please contact the school nurse each year to insure that all necessary information is shared and materials provided to support their education.
The parent will be notified if a student is too ill to remain in school, please make arrangements to pick up your child in a timely fashion.
The following guidelines identify procedures and practices regarding the administration of student medications during the school day. Please review these procedures.
1. Every effort should be made to give all doses of medication at home. Normally, medication to be given three times per day can be given at home (e.g., before school, after school, at bedtime). If a medication must be administered four or more times per day, one or more doses will likely need to be taken during the school day.
2. Only medications prescribed by a physician for a particular child will be given during school hours. Written instructions from the physician are required. Any change in dosage or medication must be accompanied by a physician’s note.
3. All medications must be clearly marked with a prescription label bearing the child’s name, type of medication, dosage, and time to be given.
4. Over-the-counter medications: Per Standing Orders from the school physician, Tylenol/Acetaminophen, Motrin/Ibuprofen, and Tums as needed will be given for student illness. Parent permission for use of these is obtained on the annual Student Emergency Medical Card. All other over-the-counter medications will not be administered in school unless accompanied by a physician’s note specifying the medication, dosage, and timing of the medication. Please also provide clearly labeled medication containers, as well as a parent note for administration. Students will not be permitted to take medication on their own during school hours, with the exception of students with asthma inhalers and Epi-pens whose parents have completed the Carry Form.
5. Asthma inhalers and Epi-Pens may be carried by students in grades six through twelve during the school day if deemed necessary by the child’s parent and doctor. An Asthma/Epi-pen Carry Policy must be completed. In addition to other information, this form includes verification of the student’s knowledge and competency to self-medicate. It should be noted that the prescribed inhaler is for the intended individual’s use only and must not be shared with others. Violation of this policy shall result in immediate confiscation of the inhaler and loss of the privilege to self-medicate. Student who self-administer their emergency medication should notify the nurse as soon as possible after using the medication, and arrange for further medical attention, as needed. All inhalers or Epi-pens should be labeled with the child’s name.
IMMUNIZATION AND EXEMPTIONS TO IMMUNIZATION LAW
The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires the following immunizations for all children entering school in Pennsylvania. Parents are required to provide written proof, signed by a physician or on their letterhead, indicating that their child has received the following required immunizations. These immunizations must be completed and submitted to the school nurse before a child may attend school unless under a provisional program while they receive the required immunizations. These provisional programs are time sensitive.
Children in ALL grades (k-12) need the following immunizations for attendance:
· 4 doses of tetanus, diphtereria and acellular4 pertussis, 1 dose on or after the 4th birthday, usually given as DTaP or DTP or DT or Td.
· 4 doses of polio, 4th dose on or after the 4th birthday and as least 6 months after the previous dose given
· 2 doses of measles, mumps and rubella, usually given as MMR
· 3 doses of hepatitis B
· 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) or evidence of immunity
The following are 7th through 12th grade additional immunization requirements for attendance:
· 2 doses meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV)
-First dose is given 11-15 years of age; a second dose is required at age 16 or entry into 12th grade.
Pennsylvania state law mandates specific health screenings for students. The school nurse begins these screenings after the start of the school year. Please contact the school nurse if you have any questions about screenings.
· Growth Screening: Height and weight are recorded annually for each student.
· Vision Screening: Vision screening, both for near and far vision, is completed annually for each student
-Color and Depth Perception are assessed in grade two.
· Hearing Screening: Hearing screenings are done in kindergarten and grades one, two, seven, and eleven.
· Scoliosis Screening: Scoliosis screening looks for spinal curvature, is done in grade seven.
· BMI (Body Mass Index): BMI is a tool used to assess children at risk of being under or over weight. This information, if warranted, should then be shared with the child’s physician.
Parents/guardians will be notified if their child’s health screenings reveal any concerns. In these instances, school nurses will provide referrals for further testing/diagnosis.
DENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM
A dental exam form must be completed and signed by the family dentist for students upon entrance to school in kindergarten or first grade and then again in third grade and seventh grade. At each of these grade levels, forms should be completed and returned to your school no later than September 30. You may sign up for a school exam for evaluation. It is strongly recommended that your family dentist perform the exam as he/she is the most familiar with your child’s dental needs and will be able to provide any follow-up treatments, sealants, and cleanings.
Pennsylvania School Health Law requires a physical examination upon entrance to school in either kindergarten or first grade and again in grades six and eleven. If you child is new to Pennsylvania schools, a current physical examination is required. Examinations done by a medical physician within one year before the opening of the school term are acceptable by state regulations. Many physicians have electronic medical records. Please ask for a copy of your child’s physical at the end of the visit. Please keep the school nurse informed of any corrections, treatments, or immunization boosters that your child has received. In order to keep your child’s health records current, please send physician documentation of any immunization boosters your child may receive. Access to current health information is essential in an emergency situation. You may sign up for a school exam but no immunizations are given during this exam. Please send all private physical exam forms into school within 30 days of starting the school year.
When a case of lice is discovered in school, the student is excluded and all students in that class and any siblings of the infested student are checked. To be re-admitted to school, a parent/guardian must accompany the student who has been treated to school for examination. The student must be lice/nit free for re-admittance to school. If the student is not lice/nit free, the student will continue to be excluded and must return home for complete removal of nits.