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Let's Talk About...School Health



Is there a School Nurse in my child's school?
There are School Nurses' assigned to every CMS school. School Nurses may be in your child's building anywhere from one to five days a week. Most schools have a nurse in their building anywhere from one to three days a week. Please check with your school to find out which days the nurse is in your child's building. In the event of an important question or situation, a school nurse is always available by pager. 
What if my child has a medical emergency?
In life threatening situations, or in situations where the need for immediate medical care is suspected, the school has a responsibility to act on behalf of the injured or ill student, employee or program participant.
  • Emergency medical services must be activated by calling 911.
  • The principal, designee or program supervisor must act on behalf of the parent or guardian when medical assistance and response time may be critical to preserve life or prevent major disability.
In life threatening emergencies, medical services are called first and parents or guardians second.
What else can a School Nurse do?
Specialized physical health care procedures during the school day are performed by the School Nurse or staff both trained by the school nurse and designated by the building principal. Some examples include:
  • blood glucose monitoring
  • gastrostomy feedings
  • urinary catheterization
  • nebulized medication for students with severe asthma
  • distribution of injectable medication such as Epi-Pen (epinephrine), Diastat and Glucagon may also be done by staff that has had special training by the School Nurse 
Health education in the classroom by School Nurses is designed to help students acquire knowledge and develop attitudes and behaviors that protect and improve their well being. School Nurses also provide individual and group counseling.  School Nurses case find and case manage students with health care needs or needs for other medical services. They also develop Individualized Emergency Action Plans for staff or students that have significant medical needs. This is done to foster a safe learning environment for students and staff.
Does my child need a physical?
Students entering early childhood special education programs, like Bright Beginnings, and kindergarten are required to have a physical and dental examination prior to starting school. Parents of kindergarteners are encouraged to arrange for their child's eyes to be examined by an optometrist or evaluated by a physician prior to starting kindergarten. Examinations shall be paid for by the child's parent or guardian.  The physical exam form must be dated within 12 months prior to their start in school.   Kindergarten Health Assessment Report/ Physical

What screening programs are available?
Nursing/Health Services make referrals for early childhood, kindergarten and children with suspected hearing problems who are submitted from other grades. CMS audiologists do the initial hearing test/screen. Nursing/Health Services coordinate the annual vision distance screening program for children in early childhood, kindergarten, and grades 1, 3, 5 and 7. Children with suspected distance vision problems who are referred from another grade will also be screened. Children who fail the initial screening are re-screened and the parent/guardian will be contacted if the child failed the second screening.
What is the procedure for medications?
The following guidelines will be followed when medication is administered to students.
Non-prescription (over the counter) medication will be administered by district personnel upon receipt of:
  1. Written instruction and written consent by the parent/guardian.
  2. Written instructions by the practitioner and order of non- prescription including dosage to be given and time interval.
  3. Medication supplied by the parent/guardian in the original container with dosage instructions and labeled with the student's name.
  4. Medication consent forms - click here to download. These are also in your child's school or in the CMS student handbook.
Prescription medication will be administered by district personnel upon receipt of:
  1. Written instruction and written consent by the parent/guardian.
  2. Written instructions of the practitioner.
  3. Medication supplied by the parent/guardian in the original container with the child's full name, name of the drug and dosage, time to be given and practitioner's name.
  4. The order on the medication container must match the written instructions of the practitioner (child's full name, name of the drug and dosage and time to be given).
  5. Medication consent forms are available -  click here to download. These are also available in your child's school or in the CMS student handbook.
Medication administered by school personnel will be kept in a locked and secured place. It is the responsibility of the student to get his/her medication at the designated time. For safety reasons only empty medication containers will be sent home from school with students. All medication must be reclaimed by the parent at the end of the school year or they will be discarded after 30 days.
Of Special Interest:
An asthmatic student may possess and use a metered dose inhaler or dry powdered inhaler upon receipt of the completed District's Medication Authorization Form that states the student is capable and responsible in giving their own medication. This must be signed by the practitioner, parent/guardian, student, and school nurse. This form has the written approval of the student's practitioner and if the student is a minor, the written approval of the student's parent or guardian. The same is true for a severe allergy, where Epi-Pen injections will be necessary if an allergic response occurs. 
Students may also carry their own over the counter medications and certain prescription medications if the same criterion noted above occurs. For more information, visit CMS asthma site.
When does my child need to be immunized?
CMS follows the North Carolina general statute 130A-152-157 which requires that all students Pre-K through grade 12 must present evidence that they have a completed immunization record for their grade within 30 school days of admission. If a complete immunization record has not been provided to the school, then the child will be excluded from school until a valid immunization record is provided to the school.  Students whose parent/guardian signs a religious exemption or seeks and gains approval for a medical exemption are compliant with the law.


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