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Health Services Information

about 1 year ago

School Health Program
At each school, the school nurse (a Registered Nurse certified by the Massachusetts Department of Education) acts as a liaison between school and home regarding health concerns. School nurses collaborate with the school physician, Dr. Lazaros Xanthopoulos, MD, to provide first aid, nursing care for illnesses, accidents and other medical situations, including referrals. In addition, the school nurses assist in promoting good health and maintaining a healthy, safe environment for staff and students. 

Emergency Forms/Registration
Emergency forms are sent home with students each year on the first day of school to be filled out and returned to the child’s classroom teacher. These forms provide updated health information and how parents/ guardians can be reached in the event of an emergency. In the event of an accident or illness, the school must be able to reach a parent/guardian or another person who will assume responsibility for your child. All information on emergency forms is confidential and should be updated if any changes occur during the year. 

According to Tyngsborough Public School Policy 10.9, the school nurse is the only person allowed to administer medication to students while at school. The parent/legal guardian must send a note to the nurse giving permission for medication to be administered while the child is at school. All medication(s) must be in a pharmacy-labeled bottle with the student’s name, prescribing physician, medication, dosage, and instructions for administering on the label. Aspirin substitute (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) may be given by the school nurse on the authority of the school physician, if the parent/guardian has sent a written permission slip requesting such medication be given. A student may receive one dose of aspirin substitute during the school day according to the following schedule:

  • 3 to 10 - Dosage according to label on children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen (age and weight) or one adult acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • 10 and over - One to two adult acetaminophen or ibuprofen

In addition, Tums or a similar antacid may be given according to the following guidelines:

  • 3 to 10 - 1 chewable Tums or similar antacid
  • 10 and over - 1 to 2 Tums or similar antacid

Medications are kept in the health office at each school and may be retrieved by parents/guardians at any time. All unused, discontinued or outdated medications will be returned to the parent/guardian. All unused medications are to be picked up by the parent/guardian at the end of the school year or will be disposed of by the school nurse at the end of 2 weeks.

If your child has an allergy requiring the use of Epinephrine, please contact the nurse to develop an Individual Health Care Plan or Allergy Action Plan. Epinephrine may be given by the School Nurse by order of the School Physician if a student appears to be having a severe allergic reaction to an immunization, bee sting, hornet or wasp sting or food allergy, without written parental permission.

Dosage as follows:

  • 3 to 7 - .15 mg epinephrine IM – may repeat – then transport to the hospital OR may use EpiPen Jr.
  • 7 and over - 0.3 mg epinephrine IM – may repeat – may use adult EpiPen then transport to the hospital 

Massachusetts School Immunization Law (M.G.L. 76:15) requires that all immunizations must be up to date, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations, for children to attend school. A certified record of immunizations from the child’s physician is required for entry into school. All immunization records must be provided in English and include full dates. Exceptions are made only for students with written documentation of medical or religious exemption and homeless students. Massachusetts General Law allows for the school district to exclude children from school whose immunizations are not up to date. 

Massachusetts School Immunization Requirements for the Current School Year 

Lead Test

If children have never been screened for lead poisoning, they must be screened at entry to preschool/kindergarten and present evidence of such screening. If they have previously been screened for lead poisoning, they need not be screened again to fulfill preschool/kindergarten entry requirements but must present evidence of previous screening and results. 

Mandated Screenings

  • Vision: K-12
  • Hearing: K-12
  • Postural Screening: Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L. C. 71, s.57) mandates that all students in grades 5-9 be screened for scoliosis. If a parent/guardian refuses to have the screenings done at school, written documentation from the family physician must be submitted to the school nurse.

Parents/legal guardians will be notified of any problems that necessitate medical follow-up.

In collaboration with the Tyngsborough Board of Health, dental screenings are offered in school with parental permission. Free screenings, cleanings and fluoride treatments are offered to eligible students in 2nd grade.

To provide the healthiest possible environment at school, children should not be sent to school when symptoms of illness are present:

  • Temperature over 100 degrees
  • Disruptive cough or cough with fever
  • Suspected infection of eye, ears, nose, throat, skin, scalp
  • Severe abdominal pain or headache
  • Suspected communicable disease (including, but not limited to: strep throat, conjunctivitis, head lice, impetigo, Fifth’s disease, chicken pox, whooping cough, mononucleosis, scabies, and scarlet fever). Please notify the school nurse if your child contracts any communicable disease.
  • Suspected fractures or any severe or disabling injury
  • Questionable need for sutures
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Head injury
  • Antibiotic therapy stated less than 24 hours before returning to school
  • Immunizations which are not up to date

*** Students may also be dismissed or excluded from school for any of the above***

Children must be fever free without medication and symptom free (vomiting or diarrhea) for 24 hours before returning to school. According to school policy, before a child can return to school, strep throat, impetigo and conjunctivitis require 24 hours of medication. In the case of chicken pox, all lesions must be scabbed over (5-7 days) before the child can return to school.

Please call the school office to let the staff know if your child will be absent.

Head Lice
Children must be treated and checked by the school nurse before being readmitted to school. Prevention is the key to controlling this pesky problem. Please inspect your child's hair frequently.

If you have any questions, please contact the nurse at your child’s school:
     TES: Eileen Colton, Sherrie Dunbar - 978-649-1990
     TMS: Michelle Riley, Karen Morrill - 978-649-3115 (option 4)
     THS: Deborah Donohoe - 978-649-7571 (option 2)
     School Health Service: Pediatrics West 978-577-0437

If your child does not have health insurance, Massachusetts has health insurance plans that will provide uninsured children with affordable health care (restrictions may apply). Please contact your child’s school nurse for more information.