The high school has a full time nurse on duty. The nurse monitors student illnesses and injuries, treats minor injuries, dispenses medication, and counsels students on health-related programs. The nurse also answers questions and provides advice to parents on health and related concerns. In addition, the nurse does yearly vision and hearing screening, keeps the school’s health records, and works with the DeKalb County Health Department on student physicals and immunizations. The school nurse is the building coordinator for special health-related programs involving outside organizations. His/her responsibilities also include processing the initial paperwork needed to set up tutoring services for students homebound by long term illness or injury. Through our partnership with Northern Illinois University, student nurses may also be on campus assisting with students.
Students are required to have/show proof of receiving certain immunizations and exams prior to starting school. A full list of these immunizations and and exams can be found on the District’s Immunization Information webpage.
Prescription Medication Procedure at School
Administration of medication to students is the responsibility of the parents and should be given at home whenever possible. Only in cases where failure to take prescribed medication could jeopardize the child’s health and/or education should medication be given at school.
Most medications a child takes does not need to be administered at school. If they need to take it 3 times a day or less, it should not be sent to school but should be taken at home. If your child takes daily medications, they should be taken at home with very few exceptions.
The school nurse will stock and administer selected over-the-counter medications with parent permission. Tylenol and ibuprofen will be administered when the nurse determines that it is appropriate. A parent permission form must be on file in the nurse’s office. If a student takes either of these pain relievers on a more frequent basis, parents are encouraged to obtain permission from a physician. All medications (with the exception of asthma inhalers and Epi-pens) are to be taken in the nurses’ office. Students are not to have over-the-counter or other types of medication in their possession during the school day.
Procedure for Prescription and Nonprescription Medication
When school personnel are required to administer over-the-counter or prescription medication, the following procedure must be followed when school personnel dispense medication to individual students.
- A written order for prescription and non-prescription medication must be obtained from the child’s physician.
- A written request from the parent/guardian requesting the medication be given must accompany the above order.
- Medication must be brought to school in a pharmacy labeled container that displays:
- Child’s Name
- Prescription Number
- Medication Name/Dosage
- Administration Route
- Date and Refill
- Physician’s Name
- Pharmacy address and phone number
- Any medications designated a “controlled substance” (including, but not limited to, Ritalin, Concerta, Dexedrine, and Adderall) must be delivered to school by a parent or another adult.
- Each dose of medication administered shall be recorded with date and initials of the person administering it and placed in the student’s health record.
- Medication must be kept in a locked drawer or cabinet in a supervised area.
- The school nurse assigned to the school should be notified of all medication requests, including those that are to be self administered such as bronchial inhalers. He/she will then monitor and counsel the students as needed.
The school may refuse to administer prescription or non-prescription medication unless the above procedure is followed.
Illinois School Code requires that all schools permit students to carry and self-administer prescribed asthma and Epipen medication at school. In order for a student to carry asthma and/or Epipen medication at school, written permission from the parent and physician must be on file in the nurse’s office. The permission for self-administration of medication is effective for the school year and needs to be renewed each subsequent school year. The school district and its employees are to incur no liability, except for willful and wanton misconduct, as a result of any injury arising from the self-administration of medication to the student.
The emergency administration of epinephrine using an Epipen auto-injector is now approved in Sycamore Schools. The standing orders and protocol for school nurses and other trained personnel are reviewed and signed by a designated physician. An Epipen will be used when a student exhibits signs or symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction. In the event that an Epipen is administered, there will be immediate activation of the EMS system and transport to Kishwaukee Hospital. Students already diagnosed with bee sting allergies or other conditions that could lead to anaphylaxis will provide their own Epipen with physician and parent authorization.
Field Trip Medication Procedure
The school nurse will dispense medication into individual student envelopes. Designated school personnel (not necessarily the school nurse or health aide) will carry the medication and supervise the student in self-administration. Self-administration means the student will be responsible for opening the envelope and recognizing their medication prior to taking it in front of the staff member.
- Should you send your child to school? – If your child is not feeling well on a school day, a decision must be made whether or not to send them to school or keep them home. The following is not intended as medical advice, but to merely to provide guidelines until your doctor can be consulted.
- Cold, Sore Throat, Cough – A child with a “heavy” cold and hacking cough belongs at home and in bed even if he/she does not have a fever. Children with sore throat complaints may attend school unless you see white spots, pronounced red streaks, or the sore throat is persistent. In those cases, call your doctor.
- Diarrhea and Vomiting – Keep your child home. Call your doctor if no improvement is seen after a day. The child should have NO SYMPTOMS FOR 24 HOURS before returning to school.
- Earache – Consult your doctor.
- Fever – This is a warning that all is not right in the body. No child with a fever of 100 degrees should be sent to school. Students must be fever free for 24 hours without the aid of fever reducers before returning to school.
- Headache – Your child may come to school, but remember, Aspirin, Tylenol, or Ibuprofen is NOT dispensed in the elementary grades.
- Rash – This may be the first sign of chickenpox. (Your child should be immunized against measles.) “Spots” may cover the entire body or may appear only in one area. Do not send your child to school with a rash until your doctor has said that it is safe for them to return. Those who have the chickenpox should remain home until the pox are dried (usually 7 days).
- Stomachache – This is a very common complaint! Call your doctor if no improvement is seen after a day.
- Tootheache – See your dentist.
Illness at School
Your child will be sent home if they:
- Have a fever of 100 degrees or more
- Have vomited or have diarrhea
- Feel too miserable with cold or flu symptoms
- Have lice
- Have been injured seriously enough to impair functioning at school
If you are called at home or work and asked to pick your child up, it is your responsibility to come or arrange for someone else to come for your child immediately. It is imperative that you supply the nurse with names and phone numbers of two (2) other people who can transport your child if you can’t be reached.
Returning from an Illness
Students must be fever, vomit, and diarrhea free for 24 hours before returning to school.
Emergency Medical Attention
If we feel that emergency medical services (EMS) are necessary, EMS will be activated and your child will be transported to the nearest hospital for emergency medical attention. The closest hospital for Sycamore School District is Kishwaukee Hospital.
Anyone can get head lice. It is a popular belief that head lice only thrive in an unclean environment, but having head lice in no way implies poor housekeeping or a lack of personal cleanliness. Head lice come from direct contact with another person or indirect contact through use of lice-infested clothing, bedding (staying overnight), hairbrushes, or combs, hats, theatre seats, or any number of ways. Sycamore Schools have a “No Live Lice” protocol to address the issue of head lice. Report any lice outbreak to the school nurse for specific suggestions and follow up.
Parents should check their child’s head for lice nits regularly. The tiny, white/clear oval eggs of head lice, called nits, are attached to the hair shafts near the scalp, especially at the nape of the neck and in back of and above the ears. The lice themselves are often not seen because they are usually present in very small numbers and move very quickly. Bites by lice and the accompanying scratch marks can often be seen. If scratch marks become infected, one may experience swollen lymph nodes in the neck. The nits resemble dandruff, but dandruff is flat and is easily removed for the hair. Nits are not. They are attached to the hair shaft with a glue-like substance and cannot be removed easily even by pulling them. Also, contrary to populate belief, intense itching is NOT always present when a person is infested with head lice. One might have head lice and not feel discomfort at all. Please check your child’s head closely! Parents should look for lice nits every week on their child.
What to do if you find head lice on your child:
- Keep your child home until the first until the first application of lice shampoo or lice crème rinse has been applied and all nits removed. A “NO Live Lice” policy has been implemented in our school district, and therefore a child returning to school with any live lice will be sent home again.
- Report any lice outbreak to the school nurse. She provides you with further specific suggestions for getting rid of lice.
Vision and Hearing Screenings
Students will be screened according to state mandated vision and hearing laws and the results will be shared with school personnel. Hearing screenings will be for all students in grades kindergarten, first and second. Vision screenings will be for students in kindergarten, second & 8th grades. Additionally, any students in special education, new to district, teacher referrals and with known vision or hearing concerns will be screened. Parents should notify the school if consent of screening is denied. Vision screening is NOT a substitute for a complete eye examine and vision evaluation by an eye doctor. Your child is not required to undergo this vision screening if an optometrist or ophthalmologist has completed and signed a report form, indicating that an examination has been administered within the previous 12 months.
State law requires our school district to annually inform parents of students with life-threatening allergies or life-threatening chronic illnesses of the applicable provisions of Section 504 of the rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other applicable federal statutes, federal regulations, and state rules. If your student has a life-threatening allergy or life-threatening chronic illness, please notify the building principal or school nurse. Federal law protects students from discrimination due to a disability that substantially limits a major life activity. If your student has a qualifying disability, an individualized Section 504 Plan can be developed and implemented to provide the needed supports so that your student can access their education as effectively as students without disabilities. Not all students with life-threatening allergies and life-threatening chronic illnesses may be eligible under Section 504. Our school district may be able to appropriately meet a student’s needs through other means.
If your child has diabetes and requires assistance with managing this condition while at school and school functions, a Diabetes Care Plan from the physician must be submitted to the school principal or school nurse. Parents/Guardians are responsible for and must:
- Inform the school in a timely manner of any change which needs to be made to the Diabetes Care Plan on file with the school for their child.
- Inform the school in a timely manner of any changes to their emergency contact numbers or contact numbers of health care providers.
- Sign the Diabetes Care Plan
- Grant consent for and authorize designated School District Representatives to communicate directly with the health care provider whose instructions are included in the Diabetes Care Plan.
- Provide appropriate snacks and supplies for their diabetic care.
For further information, please contact the building principal or school nurse.
Physical Education Medial Notes
Students are required to participate in physical education class unless a doctor’s excuse is on file in the school nurse’s office.
Physical and Immunizations Requirements
Illinois law requires that all K, 6th, and 9th grade students have a completed physical exam before entering school each fall. Completed physical forms are to be turned in to the school nurse before a student can attend classes. Any student who arrives at school the first day without a physical will be sent home and will not be allowed to return to school without the completed physical form. The physical must be completed on the current Illinois Certificate of Child Health Examination form. In addition to the physical, the student must show evidence of protection against:
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), Tetanus, Poliomyelitis, Diphtheria, Pertussis (whooping cough),Tdap, Hepatitis B series and proof of having the Varicella vaccines or history of the chickenpox disease.
All students new to the district must also comply with these regulations within 30 days of enrollment. Transfer students, as well as students with no physical exam but verification of a doctor’s appointment, will be conditionally enrolled. Exceptions to the law are valid for medical contraindications or religious objections provided the exemption is on file and approved in the student’s health folder.
Exclusion from School
- Students who do not have physicals, immunization or other letters (medical or religious) on file
- If there is an outbreak of disease (i.e. Measles), those students who have not had immunization due to medical or religious reasons will be on the susceptible list and will be excluded until 21 days after the last reported case of the disease.
Individual schools shall keep an up-to-date list of all children who have not presented evidence of immunity against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Poliomyelitis, Measles, Rubella, Mumps and Varicella.
The State of Illinois through Public Act 93-946 has mandated that all students in K, 2nd and 6th grade must have a dental exam completed prior to May 15 of the current school year.