School Nurse's NotesDuring the school year, there are increased health concerns due to close proximity to others on a daily basis, weather changes, prevalence of communicable diseases, etc. With the increased possibility of exposure to colds, flu, strep throat, and respiratory infections during the school months, it is a good time to review good health practices and policies for school attendance with regard to illness.
The following are important steps you can take to reduce the risk of illness in your family:
- Thorough hand washing, especially before meals and after toileting.
- Eating well balanced meals
- A regular schedule of rest (8-10 hour of sleep per night)
- Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue during coughing and washing your hands afterwards
- Dressing appropriately for weather conditions
To decrease the spread of communicable diseases, school policy prohibits students attending school if they exhibit one or more of the following symptoms during the previous 24 hour period:
- A temperature of 100 degrees or greater (without medication to reduce fever) who also exhibit symptoms of illness
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- A persistent cough *
- A generalized rash *
- Other ongoing symptoms of illness or discomfort
*Consult your health provider before sending your child to school with these conditions.
POLICY FOR EMERGENCIES REQUIRING EMERGENCY MEDICATION AT SCHOOL
The following policy has been established for injectable medication administered in emergency situations at school.
1. A nurse must administer injectable medications. When an emergency requiring injectable medication occurs, a nurse may not be in the building, since a nurse serves several buildings. If the nurse is not in the building, the 911 emergency number will be called to get emergency medical assistance. The expectation to this is the use of the Epi-Pen for severe allergic reaction resulting in anaphylaxis and rectal Diastat for status epilepticus. In this case, a designated nonprofessional first aid provider trained by a school nurse may administer an injectable Epi-Pen (Epinephrine .3 mg), Epi-Pen, Jr. (Epinephrine .15 mg) or rectal Diastat.
2. The EMERGENCY medication form must be completed and signed by the student’s doctor and must also be signed by parents or guardian before the nurse is authorized to give the injectable medication.
3. The authorization form must be renewed each school year.
4. Medicine prescribed by a doctor must have a pharmaceutical label to be accepted at school. (This medication is to be furnished by the parent or guardian). The label should include the following information:a. Student’s nameb. Current datec. Name of medication and specific instructions such as amount and time to be given.d. Name of doctor prescribing medication
5. Students with chronic or specific problems requiring medication for emergency situations should have their medication properly labeled as listed above. Specific written instructions must be provided as to when and under what circumstances medication is to be given. This information should be provided and signed by the student’s doctor annually.