We would like to inform you of the policies that have been put forth to ensure the health and safety of children needing medicines during the school day. The Massachusetts Department of Health regulates this policy for all schools, both public and private. The purpose of these policies is to provide standards for the proper administration of medications to the students of St. Mary’s.
When to Keep Your Child Home from School
Because of the ages of some of the children, increased susceptibility to infection is a real concern. The children work in such close contact and share common equipment, therefore spread of infection and illness from one student to another is common. Parents are encouraged to use good judgment in keeping their children home from school. Children who are ill will have a difficult time attending to their work and will expose others to illness. Here are some guidelines to follow:
Keep your child home if he or she:
- Has evidence of a newly developing cold. The greatest period of contagiousness is the first 2 – 3 days after the onset of symptoms, which may include running, stuffy nose, sneezing, and coughing.
- Has a suspicious rash.
- Has an elevated temperature. A child should be kept home from school for 24 hours after a fever for full recovery.
- Has had an upset stomach or vomiting within the past 24 hours.
- Has diarrhea
- Has sore, itchy, discharging eyes
- Has ear pain
- Has a contagious illness, such as strep throat, scarlet fever, tonsillitis, bronchitis, conjunctivitis, and has not been on medication for at least 24 – 48 hours.
Steps to Follow When Your Child is Absent From School
Call the office if your child will not be attending school due to illness.
- A written note explaining the reason for the absence should be presented to the office upon return to school.
Absences will be recorded as excused if the student returns to school with a note explaining the absence, and the note is signed by a parent.
- A doctor’s note is required following absences of five or more days.
After absences due to a communicable illness, your child should report to the school nurse prior to returning to the classroom.
When Parents Should Contact the School Nurse
Contact the school nurse:
- If your child is newly diagnosed with a chronic health disease, such as seizures, diabetes, asthma, or severe allergies.
- If your child is on a daily medication for an extended period of time.
- If your child has a communicable illness, such as chicken pox, scarlet fever, hepatitis, tuberculosis, or head lice.
- if your child has had a recent immunization.
- If your child is under treatment for any problem that may impair safety or mobility during the school day or may restrict gym or recess, for example, fractures or broken bones, orthopedic problems, recent surgery,concussions, or head injuries.
- If your family is experiencing a problem and needs support, assistance, or a referral for help.
This policy applies to all medications, prescription and over-the-counter, that are administered to students in school.
If a student's physician determines that it is necessary for the student to receive medicationduring school hours, the written physician's order and specific instructions must be provided to the school.
A Medication Administration Consent Form signed by the parent/guardian must accompany each medication.
The parent/guardian must provide medications in the original container with the prescription label or manufacturer's label intact. If requested, the pharmacist will provide identical containers and divide medications for home and school.
Medications that need to be administered for more than 10 school days must be accompanied by a written physician's order. A prescription label serves as a physician's order for short-term medications, such as antibiotics.
The parent/guardian should deliver medications to school. Upon delivery, the school nurse will count and date the medications.
The first dose of a newly prescribed medication must be given at home.
"Three times a day" medication will be given at school only if the physician specifically orders a dose during school hours.
All medications, prescription and over-the-counter, will be administered by the school nurse only. No other school personnel will administer medications. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulates the administration of medications and has published detailed Regulations Governing the Administration of Prescription Medications