Our District Nurses
The Health Services area of our website is a guide to the services required and provided by your child’s school nurse. Here, parents and guardians can learn how to provide the school nurse with the information needed to ensure that children receive the best possible health care while in school. You will find various forms required by the Antietam School District, as well as information about state-mandated health care requirements and services available through the school and community.
Why are we concerned with health in schools?
Your child’s health & wellness is the primary concern of the school nurse.
Healthy children perform better in school. They learn faster, more thoroughly, and retain that information longer than children who are not healthy. Learning is a child's work, and, just like adults who don't function well at their jobs when they are ill or injured, a student cannot function well if he or she feels sick or suffers from an improperly controlled medical condition. Good health is fundamental to effective student learning and successful academic performance.
How do we monitor student's health at school?
A nurse will be available during your child’s school day for injuries and illnesses that occur during the school day. Please do not expect them to care for issues which arose at home.
If your child is not feeling well, please assess whether or not they should come to school or stay home. Do not send them to school ill. This may jeopardize the health of other students. If you decide to send your child to school, there are guidelines the nurse follows and based on their assessment, they will determine if the child may remain in school or if they need to go home or for further medical attention. The parent will be notified and are responsible for picking the child up in a timely manner. * Students with a fever (T >100.5 degrees Fahrenheit) will be sent home.
If you administer any medication for illness, it is helpful if you call or send a note to let us know the name and dosage of the medication. We will administer medications listed on the Health Information form as long as permission has been given and the form has been signed.
If your child needs any medications (prescription or over-the-counter) administered during the school day you must complete a medication form, signed by both you and your doctor. The Pennsylvania Nurse Practice Act forbids the administration of medications by nurses unless directly authorized by a medical doctor.
Students should not carry any medications including over-the-counter drugs with them during the day. Asthma inhalers are an exception and a physician must complete a medication form stating the student is permitted to carry & self-administer the inhaler and must first demonstrate to the school nurse proper usage of a prescribed inhaler. All medications must be taken to the health room and kept by the nurse.
Screenings are completed annually according to the guidelines set by the state of PA. (see “Health Requirements" tab) If there is an abnormality noted, you will be notified and asked to pursue a further evaluation with a specialist. Due to the general concern about obesity in this country, your child's BMI will be calculated and recorded in Skyward. This information is accessible to you. If a child has a known health problem we ask that you forward updates from their physicians periodically, to keep their medical records up to date.
Mark Wagner, DO, is our district appointed physician. He completes school physical exams on those students who have not provided verification of an exam completed as mandated.
Louis Palacios, DDS, is our district appointed dentist. He will complete a “mirror” exam on students who have not provided verification of a dental exam completed as mandated.
School exams are generally scheduled in the springtime. Please be sure to let the nurse know if you wish to be present for the exam.
How can we optimize children's health?
Good health starts at home. Children of all ages need optimal nutrition, enough sleep and exercise, and adequate medical and dental care. A few preventative measures go a long way!
Optimal nutrition, what is it, and how do we achieve it? The Food Guide Pyramid was revised in 2010 and renamed My Plate to reflect a healthier, more individualized guide to healthy eating. Please check www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. It's important to keep in mind the serving size and strive to provide whole grains rather than processed grain products. For example, ditch the white bread and choose whole wheat, multigrain, or oat bread instead. Plus, a variety of fruits and veggies--5-9 servings a day--is recommended. Limit sugar, fat, and salt; choose low-fat dairy (at least 4 servings daily!) and meat products; and aim for lots of fiber and 8-10 glasses of water or liquids daily.
The 3 meal format is still a good guide. It is crucial that children eat something for breakfast. It does not need to be an elaborate meal…they just need something in their bellies. People who eat a nourishing breakfast have been shown to perform better academically, weigh less, possess more energy, enjoy better health, and live longer. So—please have your child start their day with breakfast. Encourage your student to also eat lunch. Impress upon them that “school lunch” should not consist of a soft pretzel, chips, and cookies, etc... but rather of protein, fruit, vegetables and a beverage.
Contact your child’s nurse anytime you have concerns about their health or well-being and with all updated information for their school health record.