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Brownstown Central
Community School Corporation
  • Health FAQ's

Frequently Asked Health Questions

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When should my child stay home from school due to illness?

Here are a few general guidelines listed below.  However, there are often situations that require your best judgment as a parent as you know your child better than anyone else.  Our goal is to have every child functioning at their best ability each day at school.  A good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast are two very simple and helpful ideas.
  • If your child has a temperature of 100 degrees or higher before administering a medication to help bring it down
  • If your child has diarrhea
  • If your child is vomiting
  • If your child has an unexplained rash on his/her body
  • If your has child has a communicable disease (see question #4)
  • If your child has an open draining wound that cannot be covered while at school or has the potential of draining on another student or object
  • If your child has head lice and has not yet been treated

When will the school call me to come and get my child?

One of the goals of school nursing is to support the education efforts of the teachers and it is a proven fact that there is a direct correlation between attendance and performance at school.  Therefore, school nurses work to increase the amount of “seat time” for a student (or the amount of time a child is in the classroom to receive instruction from the teacher).

When the school nurse is in the building, a nursing evaluation of the child will be made and nursing judgment will be determined as to what is in the best interest for the child and for his or her classmates.  When the school nurse or her assistant school nurse, Melissa Luedeman LPN, is not in your child's building, the health office assistant, will determine based on nursing protocols or consultation with the school nursing supervisor what is appropriate for your child.  It is also very important that you give the school several contact numbers (suggested number is three) and remember to inform the school of changes in cell phone numbers or job numbers if changes occur throughout the year.  The contact information that you provide is our only link to you in the event of an emergency.  Homes are where most childhood emergencies occur and schools are the second most common place.  Also, 60% of children with undiagnosed anaphylactic allergies present for the first time in the school setting due to the amount of time students are in school.
  • If your child has a temperature of 100 degrees or higher
  • If your child is vomiting
  • If your child has diarrhea
  • If your child has symptoms that cannot resolve with a brief rest period in the health office
  • If your child is found to have live lice that has not yet been treated

What should I do if my employer does not allow me to miss work or my supervisor does not allow me to take phone calls until my break?

The school system is very sympathetic with working parents and understands that many employers have rules like this in place.  However, the School Nurse must think of the safety and well being of all the students and it is not in the best interest of the other students for a sick child to remain at school because parents need to stay at work.  It is crucial especially if you have this type of work situation that you make arrangements with another parent, grandparent, babysitter, friend, neighbor, or relative for these situations or in the event of a more severe medical emergency.  Please ensure that these names of emergency contacts are provided to the school.

My child has been sick so when can he/she return to school?

There are many different illnesses that require a child to be away from school while the potential to be infectious still exists.  I have listed some of the most common illnesses below.  If your child's healthcare provider does not give you specific instructions, you may call me and I will be happy to assist you, as there are specific state department of health guidelines for most contagious illnesses.  
  • Strep infection 24 - 48 hours after being started on antibiotic therapy
  • Conjunctivitis – 24 hours after being started on prescriptive antibiotic eye drops
  • Fever – 24 hours after increased temperature has resolved without the use of medications (Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen) to keep your child afebrile

What is syndromic surveillance?

Syndromic surveillance is the tracking of symptoms among a population and monitoring for patterns or for outbreaks or epidemics.  The School Nurse is required by the state of Indiana to report to the Jackson County Health Department if the attendance decreases to 80% or less (20% of the student enrollment absent) and report the types of symptoms the staff or students report.  The Jackson County Health Officer, Dr. Bunce will then determine if further investigation is required.  For this reason, we are asking that when you call and report your child’s absence or send a note that you get in the habit of offering a brief explanation of the students physical symptoms if the illness is the reason for the absence. When school staff asks you additional questions when you call in for your student, please do not be offended and please know  it is not because the individual is questioning your good parental judgment.  Please note this information is for symptom tracking purposes so nursing staff can track absentee patterns an symptoms among classrooms / grades etc. 


What if my child has a change in health status?

You should contact the school nurse regarding changes in the student’s health and explain how your child’s health needs have changed.  As stated under the medication policy, if there are specific orders that need to be carried out while your child is at school, even if the treatment is exactly the way it is done at home, the School Nurse will need an actual doctor’s order due to state laws and practice guidelines, specifically the Nurse Practice Act.  If a new condition is diagnosed, it would be helpful for the school nurse to assess medical records to develop the best plan of care for your child during school.  This would require a release of information form to be signed by the parents.  This is in the best interest of your child’s health and safety.  Measures to ensure confidentiality are in place at school and information will be shared with only those who have an educational interest in your child, our student.

What is the school’s position on head lice?

At this time, when a student is found to have live lice, the parent/guardian will be notified.  The parent / guardian will receive instructions on the treatment practices to control head lice at home and the requirements for returning to school.  When a student in school is found to have nits / eggs in their hair, the parent / guardian will be informed.  However, that student will continue to attend classes.  The parent/ guardian will be advised to check for nits and lice at least every night for 7 - 10 days.  The student accompanied by the parent / guardian or their designee may return to school following treatment.  The student’s hair will be checked for effectiveness of treatment. The school nurse, assistant school nurse, or health care office assistant may ask for additional information - such as what products are being used to be of further assistance.  Mass screenings of classrooms will not be done routinely.  Only symptomatic students with live lice will be checked at school.  Education and assistance with resources will be provided for students and their families.  The school nurse will work closely with families who have chronic infestations. "Super Lice" or lice that is resistant to tradition over the counter treatments has been found in all 50 states.  Therefore, if live lice are found after treating according to package directions, the product may be ineffective and you should contact your child's healthcare provider for additional assistance.
A few facts  regarding head lice:
  • While head lice are a nuisance, they do not spread disease and are not a health issue.
  • The management of head lice should not disrupt the educational process of the child.
  • By the time an infestation is found, the child is likely to have had it for at least a month.
  • Head lice do not come from out of the air or from the ground.
  • Head Lice have been found on people of all socio-economic levels. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.
  • Children, particularly those of elementary school age, are most likely to get head lice because of their close contact with each other.
  • The main symptom is itching of the head.
  • There is no way to know where a child got head lice.  Homes or schools do not get head lice - people do.  Current research indicates that most lice infestations are rarely contacted in the school setting.

How did the school determine the head lice policy?

This policy at BCCSC has not yet been revised according to the most current evidence-based practice.  The current recommendations are supported by the following organizations:  Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics,  Indiana Department of Education,  Indiana State Health Department, National Association of School Nurses, National PTA, and the National School Board Association.

 The most current recommendation is that children with live lice should remain at school and the educational process should not be disrupted since lice do not carry disease and are not a health issue.  All of our health policies and procedures are reviewed regularly.  The decisions that are made are not taken lightly and many factors unique to our community and corporation are considered as well.
 
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