Illness and Communicable Disease
- If your child is ill and will not be attending school, please call the office by 9:00 a.m.
- If your child seems to be developing symptoms of an illness, for your child's well-being and that of others, keep your child home. Do not send ill children to school. Your child should be feeling well enough to participate in the full academic program; able to eat a regular diet; and able to adequately hydrate. Contact the nurse if you have questions about when to send your child to school. See the link below: "when to keep your child home".
- When a child comes to the office complaining that he/she is not feeling well, the nurse will take his/her temperature. If the temperature is over 100 degrees, the parent will be requested to take the child home. If your child is sent home with a fever or is home with a fever, he/she may not return to school until the fever is gone for 24 hours without fever lowering medication.
- If your child has been ill with vomiting or diarrhea, he/she may not return to school until the vomiting or diarrhea have been gone for 24 hours from the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea.
- When you take your sick child to the doctor provide a note to the nurse stating that your child is well enough to return to school. If antibiotics are prescribed keep your child home until 24 hours after the first dose of the medicine. See the section below: Medications at School. The nurse cannot give your child medicine without a written statement from a healthcare provider!
When to keep your child home:
- If your child has a fever, he/she may not return to school until the fever is gone for 24 hours without fever lowering medication
- If your child has been ill with vomiting or diarrhea, he/she may not return to school until 24 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea
- Shortness of breath or wheezing during normal activity
- Cough that interrupts normal activity
- Pain from earache, sore throat, or recent injury
- Yellow or green drainage from eye(s)
- Rash or draining sores
The nurse will follow the guidelines established by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Communicable Disease unit for all communicable illness. Students or school employees found to be suffering from communicable disease will be excluded from school based on the recommendations of a healthcare provider in conjunction with the ODH guidelines. A healthcare provider may be the child's physician, dentist, physician's assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse. You must provide a written statement from your healthcare provider stating that your child may return to school. Check with your doctor as to when your child may return to school.
(Ohio Revised Code [ORC] section 3313.67, 3313.68, 3313.71 and 3707.26)
The following communicable diseases should be reported to the office:
AIDS/HIV, Chicken Pox, Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye), Fifth Disease, Flu (Influenza), Head Lice, Hepatitis, Herpes, Impetigo, Measles, Meningitis, Mononucleosis, MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus), Mumps, Rubella, Ringworm, Scabies, Scarlet Fever/Strep Throat, Thrush, Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
MRSA - If a student or staff member is suspected to have MRSA they must see a healthcare provider. A statement from your healthcare provider stating that your child may return to school is required. The infected area must be covered and dry with no drainage. Exclusion from school and activities should be reserved for those with wound drainage (“pus”) that cannot be covered or contained.
All forms of the flu can be easily spread from person to person. Therefore, we take steps to reduce the spread of the flu at SJMS. We want to keep the school open to those students functioning in a normal manner during the flu season. Students will be reminded to use proper hand washing and disinfection procedures to prevent the spread of various communicable diseases such as flu.
If a flu outbreak should occur at SJMS, we may take additional steps to prevent its spread, such as:
- Conduct active fever and flu screening of students and staff as they arrive at school
- Make changes to increase the space between people, move desks, cancel field trips
- Dismiss students from school for at least seven days if they become sick.
SJMS follows the Ohio Department of Health requirements for immunizations. Each student must meet the minimum vaccine requirement in order to attend school. Please provide an updated copy of the student’s immunization record. The full date (month/day/year) of each required vaccination is to be listed on the form. The Ohio Department of Health updated immunication requirements for the school year starting in the Fall of 2016.
- For all new students, including kindergarten: An updated copy of the immunization record must be on file no later than two weeks after the student has entered school.
- For all students entering 7th grade: All 7th grade students must have a TDaP booster AND a meningitis vaccination (new for Fall 2016!). Please submit an updated copy of the immunization record reflecting your child has received the TDaP and meningitis vaccinations prior to the start of school.
As required by Ohio law, students will be excluded from school on the 15th day if immunization mandates are not met.
(ORC] section 3313.67, 3313.671)
Medications at School
Medication cannot be given at school without an authorization from a health care provider! Parents may come to school and administer medication to their child as needed.
Any student needing to take medication during school hours MUST have written authorization from a health care provider and a parent or guardian. Medication authorizations are available online. The medication will be held in the nurse’s office until such time that it is to be administered. Regardless of their age, students may not keep any medications with them and may not self-administer without supervision (except for those students permitted to have epinephrine auto-injectors and inhalers).
School personnel may not give over-the-counter medications unless prescribed by a doctor. This includes homeopathic remedies, cough drops, and Tylenol!
Prescription medications may be administered on a daily or temporary basis at school. Medications ordered three times a day or less, unless a time is specified, may not need to be taken at school. The medication should be given before school, after school, and at bedtime. All medication, including inhalers and epinephrine auto-injectors, must be accompanied by a signed authorization from the health care provider and signed authorization from a parent or guardian. These guidelines are in accordance with Ohio law:
- Medications must be in the original container with a clearly marked pharmacy label.
- A written authorization from an authorized prescriber must be provided before the initial dose of a prescription medication may be administered.
- Please complete the Medication Authorization Form with the prescribing physician’s signature for each medication yearly or with any medication change during the school year.
- These forms must be returned to the nurse.
- Prescription medications must be provided in a pharmacy prepared container, which is properly labeled. All medications must be delivered to the nurse.
- No student may possess any prescription or non-prescription medication at school.
- Please contact the school at the beginning of the school year if your child requires the administration of medication. School personnel will send parents a medical form and medical authorization form for each child together with a notice that prescribed medications will be permitted in school only when a physician verifies the necessity of taking the medications during school hours.
- The medication authorization form must include all of the following information:
- The name and address of the student
- The class in which the student is enrolled
- The name of the drug and the dosage to be administered
- The times or intervals at which each dosage of the drug is to be administered
- The date the administration of the drug is to begin
- The date the administration of the drug is to cease
- Any severe adverse reactions that should be reported to the physician with one or more phone numbers where the physician can be reached in case of emergency
- Special conditions for administration or storage of the drug
- The physician's signature will be required on the medication authorization form if medications are to be administered during the school day.
- All leftover medication must be picked up by the parent or guardian on the last day of school. Expired medications will be disposed of properly.
- Parents may come to school to administer medications to their child if needed.
Inhalers: Complete the Asthma/Inhaler Medication Authorization form if your child has asthma or uses an inhaler and needs assistance with their inhaler. Bring an inhaler to school with the signed medication authorization on the first day of school. Also complete an asthma information form.
Ohio law allows a child to carry their inhaler if they are able to administer the inhaler without assistance. Permission to carry and administer an inhaler is incorporated within the form below. Bring a back-up inhaler to school with the signed medication authorization on the first day of school. Please complete the asthma information on the third page of the Asthma/Inhaler form.
(ORC section 3313.713)
Severe Allergies/Epinephrine Auto-Injectors:
SJMS has many students with severe food allergies in our school. For some students even trace amounts of an allergen can cause a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. Although the school has not restricted foods that may be allergens, please be aware that there are children with severe allergies attending the school. Individual classrooms may have restrictions.
- Notifying the school nurse and teacher of any life-threatening food allergy on or before the first day of each school year, or as soon as the allergy is diagnosed.
- Bringing an epinephrine auto injector to school with the signed food allergy action plan on the first day of school. All medications should be delivered to the nurse.
- Providing the school with any medications prescribed and a supply of “safe snacks” for use by their child.
- Parents of children with life-threatening food allergies are responsible for notifying bus transportation providers.
- Completing a food allergy action plan with a physician who specializes in allergy treatment.
A food allergy action plan will be developed for students with severe food allergies. The food allergy action plan will address the actions to be taken to reduce exposure at school, and what actions will be taken in the event of exposure. The action plan will be shared with appropriate school staff.
Ohio law allows a student to carry an epinephrine auto-injector with them during the school day. Permission to carry an epinephrine auto-injector is on the form below. The physician must indicate that the child is able to self-inject using the auto injector. Provide a back-up auto injector to the nurse on the first day of school.
An Emergency Medical Authorization (emergency card) must be completed each year for each student attending school (ORC3313.712). A parent or legal guardian is to complete and sign the form. It is preferable that emergency contacts be local residents. The consent for medical treatment is used only in the case of an emergency, not for routine care. A copy of the emergency card is given to classroom teachers for all school field trips. Ohio law requires all students in Children's House to have 3 emergency contacts.
A health history is needed for every student new to SJMS. This form may be completed by a parent or guardian. Update this form with any new health information at the beginning of every school year. Information will be kept confidential upon request. Please indicate on the health history which information is confidential.
A copy of the child’s most recent physical examination is needed for every student new to SJMS. Due to insurance regulations, physical exams are done annually. The Ohio Department of Education requires that a physical examination shall occur within 12 months prior to the date of admission. The date of the exam must be documented on the form with the Physician’s signature. Only hard-copy forms can be accepted. Returning students are asked to submit an updated physical exam with changes in health status.
A copy of the child’s most recent oral/dental examination is requested for every student new to SJMS
A summary of required medical forms:
Ohio law 3313.69 requires school nurses to conduct periodic health screenings. The health screening is the school nurse's way of checking students for possible health problems that might interfere with the child's classroom performance. Vision and hearing screenings are done on all new pupils and routinely in select grades. Scoliosis screening is done once in grade 5-8 to check for curvature of the spine. Screenings may include the child's health history, parent and teacher observations and the nurse's professional evaluation. The school nurse will make a referral if any concerns are identified. Parents and staff may request a screening by contacting the School Nurse. Students who wear corrective lenses should have them at school.
Tuberculosis (TB) Screening
SJMS follows the most current recommendations of the local health department regarding TB testing. Consult the school nurse for the current requirement.
Head lice is a very common condition in school age children. While they do not pose a health threat, they are a nuisance to get rid of. The most common symptom is itching of the head along the back of the neck and ears. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Ohio Department of Health strongly discourage classroom or school-wide screening due to the lack of evidence of efficacy. The school nurse does selectively check children for lice upon teacher or parent request. Please contact the nurse with questions or concerns.
Our community is filled with students active in communities and events throughout Columbus and these exposures are beyond our control at school.
Families can help prevent transmission of lice by head checks and frequent laundering of bedding, coats, hats etc. Teach your child to avoid head to head contact and sharing of hats, brushes and combs.
- are a common problem among young children
- are Not a serious condition as they do not cause disease but they are a nuisance to eradicate
- can be successfully treated
- only crawl, they cannot jump or fly
- are passed by close contact with someone who has lice or by using their brushes, combs or hats
- cannot live off the head for more than 48 hours
What to look for:
- Mature head live are tiny grayish white insects the size of a sesame seed
- They cannot fly or jump, but can crawl.
- Sometimes lice are difficult to find in a child’s hair.
- The lice eggs (nits) are much easier to see. They are about the size of a comma (in 12 point font), shaped like a teardrop and vary in color.
- Nits are tightly attached to a single hair shaft and cannot be washed or brushed out.
- They are commonly found in the hair at the back of the neck or behind the ears.
Types of treatment:
- Medicated shampoos--check with doctor, pharmacist or school nurse for more information.
- Most products are available over the counter and are easy to find.
- Combs specially designed to help with nit removal are helpful.
- Parents have reported many positive comments about vendors that remove head lice. Follow their directions if you choose this service.
- Teach your child to avoid head-to-head contact and sharing of hats, brushes, and combs.
- Heat treat fabric items (nap linens, coats, hats) for 20 minutes in a hot dryer as a preventative measure.
Get rid of head lice:
- Wash your child’s hair with the chosen medicated solution. Follow the instructions carefully. Some types are applied to dry hair.
- A second treatment is needed in 7-10 days. DO NOT use these solutions more often than recommended because they can be harmful to your child’s health. Also, these solutions WILL NOT prevent lice. They should not be used on a regular basis, only when live, crawling bugs are found.
- You will need to remove nits by either combing the nits (eggs) from your child’s hair with a lice comb or by using your fingernail and thumb nail to pull the nit off the hair shaft (this is where the term “nit picking” comes from). Manual removal may be necessary as the nit comb may not remove all the nits. Removing nits requires lots of patience. You will need a good light source such as a lamp or sunny window. Spread the hair in a fanning motion to observe the entire length of the hair. If you need help in identifying nits, consult the school nurse.
- Pull longer hair back into a braid or bun.
- All family members and household contacts of your child should be checked for lice. This is very important. People of any age can get lice, including adults and babies. Everyone over 2 years old with live bugs must also be treated with the medicated solution on the same day. Frequent checking by parents is recommended.
- If your child has lice, check the child’s hair daily for 2 weeks. Comb out any remaining nits that are seen daily for 2 weeks. Then check and comb weekly for 3 weeks.
Removal of Lice Shampoo:
All topical pediculicides (lice shampoo) should be rinsed from the hair over a sink rather than in the shower or bath to limit skin exposure and with warm rather than hot water to minimize absorption attributable to vasodilation. Itching or mild burning of the scalp caused by inflammation of the skin in response to topical pharmaceutical agents can persist for many days after lice are killed and is not a reason for re-treatment. Topical corticosteroids and oral antihistamines may be beneficial for relieving these signs and symptoms. Consult your pediatrician for advice on these medications.
Taking care of your home:
- All washable clothing and bed linens that have been worn or used in the past 24 hours should be washed in hot water and dried in a dryer at high heat for 20 minutes.
- Things that cannot be washed and dried may be dry cleaned or simply left in a plastic bag for 10 days. This works for toys and stuffed animals.
- Combs and brushes can be cleaned by soaking them in the medicated solution or by putting them in hot water. CAUTION: Heat may damage some combs and brushes.
- Sprays are NOT recommended and can be harmful to your family. Head lice do not want to leave the head & it would be very rare for a louse to be on a piece of furniture or in the carpet. Focus your efforts on the head. Do not waste time, effort and money on exhaustive cleaning or sprays. Simple vacuuming of areas that may have been in direct contact with the head such as car head rests, sofas & chairs or child car seats is all that is necessary.
- Households where your child may have spent the night or extended periods of time (like a babysitter’s house) should be notified to check heads.
- Only those found to have active infestations should be treated.
- Please call the school to inform us if you find head lice. It will help us to monitor for lice school-wide.
Returning to school:
- Your child should return to school the next school day, after treatment and combing.
- The school nurse will check your child’s head at school to make sure there are no live bugs and progress has been made on combing.
- The process of nit removal may take a few days. Continue combing daily and remove any nits found.
Treatment by a licensed and experienced pest control company is highly recommended. Bed bugs are a common problem across our city. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases, but bites can cause itching, and may become infected if the skin is broken while scratching. Because bed bugs are attracted to blood, the home of any person can become infested by bed bugs.
What do bed bugs look like and why are they hard to get rid of?
- Bed bugs are insects about ¼ inch in size. They crawl but do not jump or fly.
- Adult bed bugs are rusty colored but change to red after a blood meal. Eggs are tiny and colorless.
- Bed bugs have thin bodies that make it hard to see them. They hide in narrow cracks and crevices so inspections and treatments must be very thorough.
- Bed bugs are extremely hardy and can survive a year without a blood meal.
- Bed bugs are commonly found in hotels, motels, dormitories, shelters and apartment buildings.
- Bed bugs do not mean poor hygiene or housekeeping, but a cluttered home can make it much harder to get rid of bed bugs.
How do I know if I have bed bugs?
- Bed bugs hide during the day in cracks and crevices of bedding, mattress seams, and wood bed frames. With severe infestations they can hide in baseboards, picture frames, dressers, window and door frames, carpeting, drapes, and floor boards. In extreme cases bed bugs have been found in the corners of the ceilings.
- Bed bugs are fast moving and usually come out only at night to feed. If seen in daylight it may mean heavy infestation.
- Signs of bed bugs include dark spots on mattress edges or rusty/reddish spots of blood on the bedsheets.
- The bites are painless and usually occur when the person is asleep.
- The bites can cause inflamed and irritated skin, although people differ in their sensitivity.
- Unlike fleabites that mainly occur around the ankles, bed bugs bite skin that is exposed during sleep, like the face, neck, arms, shoulders, and hands. Rows of three or so welts on exposed skin can be a sign of bed bugs. A small, hard, white welt may develop at the site of each bite along with severe itching that can last several hours to days. Bed bug welts do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites.
- Suspect bed bugs if a person wakes up with itchy welts that were not present when they went to sleep.
- Someone having bites on their skin does not automatically mean that bed bugs are the cause. The bites can be mosquito or flea bites.
Where do bed bugs come from? How can I keep from bringing bed bugs into my home?
- Be careful when obtaining used furniture. Inspect any furniture before it is brought into your home.
- Check belongs after visits with family members or friends who may have bed bugs and if needed bag items in sealed plastic bags until they can be laundered or treated in hot dryer.
- To find and identify bed bugs may require the help of a professional pest control company.
Can bed bugs make me sick?
- Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, and the small amount of blood lost due to bed bug feeding usually does not cause problems for the person who is bitten.
- Scratching of welts can cause skin infections.
- It is best to consult with a physician before treating any rash or skin irritation. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, &/or antibiotic ointment may be prescribed to decrease allergic reactions or infections.
How can I get rid of bed bugs?
- It is very hard to get rid of a bed bug infestation, and use of a licensed and experienced pest control company is highly recommended.
- Vacuum mattresses, box springs, and carpets. It may be necessary to throw out infested items, like beds, chairs, and couches if repeated treatments are not successful. Also linens such as sheets and pillows may need to be thrown away.
- Throw vacuum contents away in sealed plastic bag.
- Cover mattresses and box springs with zippered mattress covers.
- Some people spray bed bugs with alcohol, using a small plastic bottle with 91% rubbing alcohol, undiluted. However, alcohol is flammable, and alcohol is not approved as a pesticide by the EPA. Alcohol does not kill eggs and may cause problems for people with asthma.
- Wash bedding and garments in hot water (120 degrees) and/or place them in a hot dryer for 15-20 minutes to kill adult bed bugs and their eggs. Washing or drying without high heat will not kill all adults and eggs.
- Remove clutter to eliminate bed bug hiding places
- Since bed bugs can easily spread throughout a building, it is important to inspect all rooms and apartments that are next to, above, and below a room where bed bugs are found.
- Most effective pesticides can only be obtained through a certified pest control company.
Resources and additional information are available on Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force web site at www.centralohiobedbugs.org