Role of the School Nurse
First-aid and medical care provided by the school nurse is primarily for illnesses or injuries that occur at school during the school day. The Health Center is not a primary care facility like a doctor's office. By law, the nurse does not make medical diagnoses, prescribe treatment or medications, but can provide treatments and medications prescribed by a physician with a doctor's order.
1. School is no place for a sick child. Please do not send your child to school if:
- they have a fever of 100 degrees or higher
- have vomited within the last 24 hours
- have any diarrhea in the last 24 hours
- they have not been free of a fever (without taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen) for 24 hours regardless of how they feel
Signs/symptoms of illness:
- Fever (oral temp of 100 degrees or higher)
- Diarrhea, any loose stools
- Red, watery eyes, pus in corners
- Constant sneezing and/or deep cough, constantly running nose
- Unexplained rash
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swelling to face or neck
- Flushed face or paleness
- Very sore throat
- Painful earache
2. DO NOT send a sick child to school for the school nurse to decide whether he/she should be in school. If in doubt, call your family physician. School nurses can assess and refer, but do not diagnose, and will always refer to you and/or your physician's evaluation and treatment.
3. If your child sustains an injury at home or off campus, please take care of it at home. The nurse is more than happy to take care of injuries that happen during school hours, but the nurse is not here to take the place of your primary physician's evaluation and treatment.
4. If your child becomes ill enough to be removed from school, has more than a minor injury, or has an emergency, you will be notified. It is the parent's responsibility to make arrangements to pick up an ill or injured child as promptly as possible. Students are not permitted to walk home sick, even with permission. Please make sure there are up to date home/work numbers on your child's emergency card. Please notify the school/nurse immediately of any changes in phone numbers. If your child has a temperature of 100 degrees or greater, they will be sent home. Any child with an undiagnosed rash will be sent home and should remain out of school until all symptoms are gone or a physician verifies (with a written note) that the child is not contagious and is well enough to return to school.
If every parent follows these procedures, it will save much suffering and prevent the spread of contagious diseases, some which may be life threatening.
AS ALWAYS, hand washing is the best defense against the spread of germs! Washing hands thoroughly with soap and warm water (at least 20 seconds) is the best method.