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Page Health Services

WHEN SHOULD I KEEP MY CHILD HOME?

A parent’s decision to keep a child home from school when he or she is sick can sometimes be a difficult one. However if a child is truly ill, it is important for them to stay home from school and rest. By taking this step, parents can help their children get better faster as well as prevent the spread of illness to others. 

Students must stay home if they have the following:

  • A rash or skin condition that is undiagnosed. If your child develops a rash, he/she must be seen by their health care provider and deemed safe to return to school. A note from the provider must be given to the school nurse upon return. 
  • A temperature of 100.0 F or above for 24 hours. Your child may return to school once he/she is fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication. A good rule of thumb is that if a child goes to bed or wakes up with a temperature, they should not attend school that day or the next.  If a child is sent home during the day with a temperature, they should stay home the following day.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea that occurs together or more than once in 4 hours. Your child will need to see the pediatrician if vomiting or diarrhea persist in severity for more than 1-2 days.  
  • Bacterial infections like Strep throat and bacterial pneumonia need antibiotic treatment.  Once your child has had at least one dose and is feeling well enough and fever free, they may return to school.
  • Persistent cough. With many respiratory illnesses, a cough can linger for up to three weeks or longer.  If your child has no other symptoms but a persistent, non-productive cough, they may return to school after seeing their health care provider. Please encourage frequent hand-washing and directing their cough into their elbow. Coughing into hands facilitates the spread of germs and should be discouraged. 

            Please be sure to call the attendance line NO LATER THAN 9:15 in the morning to report your child absent. It is available 24 hours so you can call as soon as you know your child will not be attending school. It is also important that you state the nature of your child’s illness (fever, headache, etc), or nature of business (appointments or family matters) and to report any communicable diseases such as Chicken Pox or the Flu to the nurse so that it can be tracked closely. If your child is absent for more than five days due to illness, a doctor's note must be provided. 

HEALTH SCREENINGS AT THE PAGE SCHOOL

Every year the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) requires the school nurse to provide certain health screenings for students. These screenings are not definitive diagnostic tests; however, they are meant to supplement your health provider's routine physical examinations. The annual school nurse screenings at the Page include:

  • Vision screening for all students in Kindergarten through 5th grade (starting in October).
  • Hearing screening for all students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade (starting in October).
  • Postural screening for scoliosis for all students in 5th and 6th grade (starting in January or February).
  • Height and weight to determine Body Mass Index (BMI) for 1st and 4th grade (starting in October). Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a measure that is used to show a person’s “weight for height for age.” It is calculated using an individual’s height and weight.  Just like a vision screening test, a BMI can be a useful tool in identifying possible health risks. A referral may be made with permission of a parent/guardian to a student's primary care provider as needed determined by the individual BMI screening results.

The school nurse will supervise your child’s screening and make sure your child’s privacy is respected at all times. You will be notified if your child did not pass the vision, hearing and/or postural screenings, and a referral will be sent home for your child to be seen by the appropriate health care provider for further testing. The results of the referral need to be provided to the school nurse.

 

Please contact me if you do not want your child to participate in these Health Screenings or if you have any questions about the Health Screening Program. A written permission form will be sent home for the 5th and 6th grade postural screenings in January or February. Otherwise your child will participate in the vision, hearing and BMI screenings unless you contact the school nurse and do not give permission. 

Courtney Spurr, RN, BSN

Phone: 978-363-2672 x14

Fax: 978-363-2234

Email: cspurr@prsd.org

 

HEAD LICE

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Each year approximately 6 to 12 million children between the ages of 3 to 11 years of age are infested with head lice. 

  • Head lice often infest people with good hygiene.
  • Head lice move by crawling; they cannot jump or fly.
  • Head lice do not transmit disease, but they do spread easily.
  • All household members and close friends of the student should be made aware and checked for lice.
  • If you or your child exhibits signs of an infestation, it is important to talk to your doctor to learn about treatment options.
  • Click here for more useful information on how to spot and treat this condition 

If your child is diagnosed with head lice you will need to start treatment, but your child can return to school immediately. Please bring them to my office first for a discreet check to make sure treatment is working.