Philipsburg-Osceola Area School Nursing staff wish to help you and your child have a positive school experience. We are here to support students and their families! The following information will be helpful for parents/guardians as children transition through grades K-12.
Annual Health History Update
In order to ensure the health, safety and well-being of your child, it is important for the school nurse to have up-to-date health information about your child. A health history form will need to be completed through the sapphire parent portal at the beginning of each school year. Please complete the form as soon as possible. This is an editable document that can be completed by clicking the appropriate boxes, or you may choose to print to complete and upload the document back into the appropriate folder. You may also print a new health history form at any time throughout the school year if there are changes to your child's health condition. This form can be found under "Document Center."
Please inform your child’s teacher(s) of any medical concerns that may affect your child during the school day.
When to Keep Your Child Home
School attendance is important, but there are times when you should keep your child home. This allows them to get better, and prevents others from becoming ill. It is the responsibility of the parent to have the child treated by a physician when necessary. If the child comes to the nurse with complaints of illness, the nurse will assess the condition, and contact the parent if necessary. Please keep your child home if:
- If your child has a SEVERE: cold, toothache, headache, or earache
- If your child has a PERSISTANT cough
- If your child has a temperature of 100.0 DEGREES OR ABOVE
- If your child has a VISIBLE UNKNOWN RASH
- If you child complains of SEVERE pain in any part of his/her body
- If you child has had VOMITING OR DIARRHEA during the night
- If your child has CRUSTED eyes or RED DRAINING eyes
Mandated Health Screenings
All students must abide by school health law requirements and have the required health screenings completed for specific grades. Pennsylvania School Law and Pennsylvania Department of Health mandate the following screenings:
Height/Weight/BMI: Students in all grades K-12 will have completed yearly by School Nurse.
Vision: Students in all grades K-12 will have completed yearly by School Nurse. 1st grade students will have a more comprehensive screening, which will include color vision test, convex lens test and depth perception test.
Hearing: Students in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 11th grade will have completed once yearly by School Nurse and/or Speech Language Pathologist.
Physical Examinations: All Kindergarten, 6th grade and 11th grade students are required to have a complete physical health assessment. This examination may be done by the child's private Doctor, or by the *School Physician free of charge.
Dental Examinations: All Kindergarten, 3rd grade and 7th grade students are required to have a complete dental health assessment. This examination may be done by the child's private Dentist, or by the *School Dentist free of charge.
*The School Physician/School Dentist will only perform exams with written consent from a parent/guardian. Parents/guardians are welcome to be present during their child's screenings.
Information regarding screening dates will be sent home with the students in the beginning of the school year. You may choose to have dental and/or physical examinations done by a private physician and/or private dentist at your own expense. Private dental and private physical exam forms can be found under the "Documents" tab.
Medications may be taken at school under the direction of the school nurse. Prescription medication cannot be given without a written doctor's order and written parent/guardian consent. A POASD medication permission form must be signed by both the physician and the parent, and be sent to the school with the medication. This medication consent form can be located under the "Documents" tab.
Over-the-counter medications can be administered if the parent/guardian provides the school nurse with a signed written consent that includes the student's name, medication name, dosage, and time medication is to be administered.
Medication that students are required to take during school must stay locked in the health office medication cabinet. Students are not allowed to store medications in their backpacks or carry medications during the school day unless the physician order states “must carry.” Examples of “must carry” medications may include: metered dose asthma inhalers, Epi-pens, diabetic supplies, & other medications for medical conditions as specified by the physician.
Prescription and over-the-counter medication (OTC) must be in the original container from the pharmacy or manufacturer. The nurse cannot accept loose medication in bags or envelopes. For safety reasons, medication not sent in the properly labeled container by the pharmacy or manufacturer cannot be given.
Any student carrying medications without a written physician’s order on file in the health office and permission from the nurse are in violation of the school’s drug policy and may be disciplined according to school policy.
These rules and guidelines are for the safety of all students.
Students who become ill, require minor first aid at school, or need to be evaluated for health reasons must report to the nurse. A written pass from the teacher or signed agenda is required to visit the nurse. The nurse will assess the student, provide care according to standing medical orders, determine whether parental contact is necessary and if the student needs to be sent home. Students are not permitted to use cell phones or school phones to call parents to be dismissed for health reasons. To be in compliance with attendance requirements, if a student has missed 10 days or more and he/she leaves the school due to illness or injury, a doctor’s excuse is needed for that absence from the school day. The nurse is not able to provide excuses for students with excessive absences.
Epinephrine is used to counteract anaphylaxis - a rapid, severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause skin itching and hives, throat tightness, wheezing, and inability to breathe and may result in death. Common allergens that can cause anaphylaxis include food, bee sting venom, medications and latex. A life-threatening reaction can occur within minutes or hours after exposure to an allergen. The treatment for anaphylaxis is prompt administration of epinephrine and transport by emergency medical services (EMS) to the nearest hospital emergency department.
Emergency Epinephrine administration:
Epinephrine may be administered to students who have a known history of severe life-threatening allergies and have a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector, or students who have their first life-threatening allergic reaction to an unknown or undiagnosed allergy while at school. Emergency epinephrine is administered by auto injector. Persons who may administer emergency epinephrine include: a nurse working in the school building or a trained unlicensed school employee.
Act 195 of 2014 provides parents with the right to exempt their student from administration of epinephrine. Parents/guardians wishing to choose this option should meet with the school nurse to discuss their decision and then review and sign the opt-out form in the presence of the school nurse.
At any time during the school year, the school nurse may examine a student for head lice. If nits or lice are identified, the following procedures shall be implemented:
- The students’ siblings and/or close contacts will be examined.
- The parent/guardian will be contacted.
- Information will be provided to the parent/guardian regarding treatment.
- All students will be reexamined upon their return to school by the school nurse.
If you find lice or nits on your child, please notify the school nurse right away. Lice are small brownish/gray insects. They do not jump or fly, but they crawl. Nits are clear/yellowish and are attached to the hair.
Students are encouraged to carry an extra set of clothes in their backpacks or store in lockers. Many times extra clothes are needed for reasons such as food spills, wet/muddy clothes, vomiting, or bowel and bladder accidents. Please be aware that students can be sensitive to strong scents such as odors from animals that may linger on clothing, chemicals, perfumes, and personal body odor. Please address proper hygiene with your child.