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Public Health Nurse
- Christine Lewis, PHN | 703-644-4710 | @email
School Health services are provided in FCPS, by Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) School Health Aides (SHA) and Public Health Nurses (PHN), under a memorandum of agreement. The Public Health Nurse is a licensed registered nurse with knowledge and skills in Public Health and School Health. The School Health Aide is a paraprofessional trained by the PHN to provide basic care to sick and injured students and administer medications.
Student Health at Keene Mill
When to Stay Home
Students with symptoms such as rashes, watery and inflamed eyes, fever greater than 100 F or 37.8 C, sore throat, vomiting, or diarrhea should remain at home until symptoms resolve or a health care provider evaluates their symptoms and determines whether or not they are contagious. The Fairfax County Health Department recommends that children stay home fever-free for 24 hours after an illness prior to returning to school. To limit the spread of illnesses, notify the school office if your child gets strep throat, chicken pox, or other contagious illnesses. Also notify the school if your child has been treated for head lice. The school will provide guidance regarding the appropriate documentation for your child to return to class.
Returning to School
Some rashes, pink eye, impetigo, ringworm, and scabies can be passed from one student to another. To protect all FCPS students, the school system requires a note from a physician for any child with symptoms of these illnesses. The note must state that the child is not contagious before he or she can return to school.
Release of Student from School
Only those individuals designated on the Emergency Care Information form will be contacted either to excuse or take your student home. If the clinic contacts you to excuse your student from school, the clinic must have voice contact with the responsible adult to dismiss the student from school grounds. In an emergency, 911 will be called prior to contacting the parent.
Children who need to take medication during school hours must have a signed Medication Authorization Form. Prescription medications require the signature of both the parent and the physician.
Allergies at School
To provide a safe, educational environment for a student with allergies, schools, parents and guardians, physicians, and the student must work together. The school public health nurse will work with the family and the physician to develop a school health action plan for the student. Parents or guardians enrolling a student with allergies should contact the school as early as possible so that a safe plan can be instituted. For students with known allergies who have physician-ordered epinephrine, the parent or guardian must provide the student specific medication to the school. Inhalers and EpiPens require authorization forms.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are drugs that can be purchased without a doctor's prescription and are used for the relief of symptoms on a temporary basis. With parent and physician authorization, OTC medications may be given on an "as needed" basis throughout the school year. Parents may authorize limited use for 10 consecutive days with a completed Medication Authorization Form. Examples include antihistamines for allergic reactions. With parent permission using the Medication Authorization Form, certain OTC medications may be given on an "as needed" basis throughout the school year only as a pain reliever for headaches, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, or orthodontic pain. The medication must be supplied by the parent in its original container. Examples include Tylenol, Advil, Pamprin, and aspirin.
- Parents and guardians must transport medications to and from the school health room. All medication must be in the original container or prescription bottle.
- Your child must have the first dose of any new medication at home.
- A parent or guardian must personally collect any unused portion of the medication. Medications not claimed will be destroyed when the order expires or at the end of each school year.
- A parent or guardian is responsible for submitting a new form to the school any time the dosage is changed or the time at which the medication is to be taken is changed. The medication label must match the authorization form.
Scheduling Medical Appointments
Please make every effort to schedule appointments outside of school hours. When this is not possible, please send a note to the school on the morning of the appointment stating the time the child will be picked up. Children should bring appointment notes to the attendance secretary before homeroom. The student's name will then be shown on an early dismissal list so teachers will know the student is not cutting class. For safety reasons, parents must sign out children in the office.
Health Action Plans
Parents or guardians enrolling a student with a health condition, health-related need, or specific health care procedure that affects the school day should contact the principal or school public health nurse so that a plan to support the student in the school setting can be developed.The Health Information Form is to be completed by the parent or guardian at the start of each school year. The completed form is to be returned to the school clinic.