Emergency Health Care
The school nurse is able to administer first aid as it relates to the immediate and temporary care given in case of an accident or sudden illness. There are times when a child becomes ill at school and parents are not able to provide transportation. If a responsible person is at home, the nurse, the principal or secretary may, at their discretion and with parent’s permission, arrange for dismissal and/or transportation home. Please contact the school immediately if there is a change in the care provider or if you will be away on vacation. It is imperative that you make arrangements for whoever will assume care should an emergency arise. A sick/injured child cannot be kept at school. Careful planning in advance can prevent a very difficult situation.
Children should not come to school if they appear to be ill. In keeping with health regulations, we request you keep your child home if he/she has a severe cold, constant coughing or sneezing, or an undiagnosed rash. Additionally, students should be free from vomiting and/or diarrhea for at least 24 hours before return to school. If they have been prescribed an antibiotic for a bacterial infection they must have taken it for at least a full 24 hours before returning to school. Children should be fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.
Emergency Contact Information
At the beginning of each school year parents are asked to provide emergency information for each of their children. This information is vitally important for the wellbeing of the child. In the event of illness or injury, the parent will be notified and asked to provide transportation home. Two emergency numbers are requested in case of the parent’s absence from home. Please keep this information updated in the school office.
Confidential health information is also required for the school nurse. This gives the nurse valuable information such as previous illnesses your child might have had, diseases or conditions, medications taken by the child, emergency contacts, health insurance provider names and primary care physician information. One Confidential Health Form is required for each child each academic year at all grade levels.
- Parents are urged to give medication(s) at home before or after school whenever possible. It is our policy to have all medications administered by the School Nurse. Medications are kept in a locked cabinet in the Health Office with the exception of inhalers and epipens.
- All medications brought from home to the school should be 21 delivered to the School Nurse by a parent or other designated adult. The medication must be in a pharmacy-labeled container with the child’s name, the name of the medication, the dosage and frequency of administration. Both the parent and the prescribing physician must sign consent forms for administration in school. For short-term medication such as antibiotics, parents must sign consent but the pharmacy-labeled bottle or package will take the place of the physician’s order.
- All non-prescription medicine must be delivered to the nurse by an adult in its original packaging with the child’s name labeled on it and with dosage instructions. The parent must sign a consent form for use in school.
- All Health Offices have access to a nebulizer machine. If your child is in need of this service please contact your School Nurse.
- All reasonable accommodations are met in regard to sending medication on field trips. If accommodations cannot be made safely, the parent/guardian will be asked to give the medication or to make other arrangements.
- Acetaminophen is available as needed to all students in grades Pre-K – 12 during regular school hours administered by the School Nurse. Parents may indicate permission for as-needed medications on the Confidential Health Form submitted at the beginning of each school year. No as-needed medications will be given without parental consent. If the child has a fever, the parent will be notified that dismissal from school is necessary.
Immunizations and Physicals
All children entering Preschool must have an up to date physical and immunization form on file with the School Nurse before the first day of school. Preschool state immunization requirements are: 3 doses Hepatitis B, 4 doses DTaP, 3 doses Polio, 1-2 doses MMR, and 1-2 doses Varicella or a physician documented history of the disease.
All children entering Kindergarten must have a five-year physical and record of immunization on file with the School Nurse before the first day of school. If you registered your child for Kindergarten with a five- year physical and updated immunizations, no further action is required. If your child has a five-year physical and/or updated immunizations after Kindergarten registration has taken place, please mail the updated information to the school your child will be attending, care of the School Nurse. Kindergarten state immunization requirements are: 3 doses Hepatitis B, 5 doses DTaP, 4 doses Polio, 2 doses MMR, and 2 doses Varicella, or physician documented history of the disease.
An up to date physical and immunization form is required from any grade 1 student who did not attend Kindergarten, or any child transferring from another school system before their first day of school, unless school records are transferred with the child demonstrating an adequate health appraisal in the school year of transfer.
If your child is not up to date with their immunizations at any grade level they will be excluded from school, unless they have a medical or religious exemption, or are progressing through a physician documented catch-up series of vaccines. All state requirements are subject to change according to Mass. Gen. Laws and DPH requirements. Up to date physicals and immunization forms are recommended for grades 3, 7 and 10. Please send all forms to the School Nurse.
Any student who does not have a primary care provider or health insurance should contact their School Nurse immediately for assistance. The Children’s Medical Security Plan provides health insurance for all students up to the age of 19 who are Massachusetts residents.
If a child contracts a communicable disease, that child will be excluded from school. If the illness is found at school the school nurse will assess the student regarding his/her condition and determine the need for exclusion. The nurse will then contact the parents to remove the child from school. Students will be readmitted to school according to the criteria for the specific illness found in the School Health Manual. A note from the student’s primary care provider may be required at the discretion of the school nurse/principal upon re-entry. Examples of excludable illnesses are: Chicken pox, conjunctivitis, impetigo, measles, mumps, meningococcal illness, lice, scabies, strep throat and ringworm.
Any child with a temperature of 100.0 or higher will be excluded from school and should not return until he/she has been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen. Students should be free from vomiting and/or diarrhea for at least 24 hours before return to school.
Pediculosis (head lice): Upon discovery of lice or nits, the student’s parents will be contacted and next steps will be discussed. Head lice are not a health hazard or a sign of poor hygiene and are not responsible for the spread of any disease. Therefore, students will not be excluded from school. While undergoing treatment for lice, the student must check-in with the nurse upon entering school. The parent should be prepared to have a conversation regarding the treatment used, the number and viability of any remaining nits, and the ability to diagnose a re-infestation. For more information please see: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/id/epid emiology/factsheets.html.