Health-School Nurse

Welcome to the Home Page for our School Nurse
Donna Lennon, RN
Info included below:
- Health Forms          - Helpful Links         - When to Keep Your Child Home          - General Health Guidelines
                - Important Message for Parents with Children Entering Kindergarten

When to Keep Your Child Home
Here are some reminders:

  • TEMPERATURE - Your child MUST remain home if he/she has an elevated temperature.  Doctors recommend that your child be fever-free, without medication, for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • DIARRHEA - Diarrhea which cannot be controlled.  Students should be free of diarrhea symptoms for 24 hours before coming to school.
  • VOMITING - Your child must not have vomited for 24 hours prior to returning to school.
  • CONTAGIOUS DISEASES - Your child must remain home when he/she shows symptoms of a contagious disease such as strep throat, conjunctivitis (pink eye), impetigo, ringworm and head lice, to name a few.  Please feel free to call the school nurse if you have any questions.
  • NASAL DISCHARGE - If your child has copious, continuous, uncontrollable greenish-yellow nasal discharge, this increases the risk of exposure and illness to other children and staff, please keep your child at home.
ILLNESS -A child's ability to learn, perform and behave can depend on how achild feels physically.  The environment in a school setting in and ofitself is one cause of illness.  Another factor is ill children beingsent to school and exposing others to contagious diseases.
Weask that sick children remain at home if their illness is contagiousand could cause illness in other children.  We ask you cooperation bycalling school and informing the nurse of that illness as soon aspossible so we can detect similar illnesses in others sooner.                                                                            
Ifyour child becomes ill at school, the nurse will call you to pickhim/her up.  If your child has special medical or health problems,please inform the school nurse.   

Emergency Contact Forms
Itis important that you complete your child's Emergency Contact Form andreturn it to the school.  Keep the information on the form current, sothat the school staff can easily contact the appropriate authorizedpersons if your child becomes ill or is hurt while in school.  For thesafety of all children, the child will be released only to those peoplelisted on the emergency form.

General Health Guidelines

  • PHYSICAL EXAMINATION - Every child entering a Rhode Island school is required to have a physical examination and vision screening by a doctor.  The state also requires proof from your doctor that the child has received certain immunizations before entering school.  These requirements are 5 DPT, 4 Polio, 2 MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), 2 Varicella and 3 HepB.  The second MMR must have been given after the child's fourth birthday.  Documentation with the full date - day, month and year - including a doctor's signature is required for each immunization.
  • DENTAL EXAMINATIONS - A dental examination is required every year.  Yellow dental cards are provided for all kindergarten registrants.  All other students must fill out a health history form with the dental information.  The only way the school nurse knows that the child has been examined by a dentist is if the parent returns the completed health history form.  If proper documentation is not received, the child will be examined by the school dentist.  If a parent is not sure whether or not the school nurse has received this information, please contact the nurse at the school.
  • HEARING SCREENINGS - All children in Grades K-3 have a hearing done at school, according to the Rhode Island State law.  If any a child fails two screenings, a form letter is mailed home, informing the parent of the situation.  If you receive such a letter, please have your child examined by your how doctor or audiologist.  The Rhode Island State Hearing Center at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf will do the screening at no cost.  The completed form should be returned to the school nurse, so the results can be recorded in the child's health records.
  • VISION SCREENINGS - All children in Grades 1-4 will have a vision screening annually.  If the child fails twice, a form letter is mailed home informing the parent of the situation.  If you receive such a letter, please follow up with an eye doctor and return the form to the school nurse.
  • HEAD LICE SCREENING - Periodic screening for pediculosis (head lice) is performed.  If the school nurse finds evidence of head lice, the child will be sent home for the parent to administer treatment.  Family doctors, the school nurse and pharmacists can provide treatment advice.  Upon completion of this treatment and before the child is allowed back in school, he/she must be re-examined by the school nurse.  Please call the school nurse if you suspect head lice, so that other children in the classroom can be checked.
  • MEDICATION - Sometimes medications need to be given during school hours.  Certain procedures must be followed to ensure the safety of all children.  No prescription medication will be given without parental and physician signatures.  No over-the-counter products will be given without parental authorization for administration.  Relevant side effects and all other specific information must be filled out by the child's parent and the child's physician.  Forms may be obtained from the school nurse.  Cough drops, for example, should not be sent to school with your child.  The child could easily choke if he/she took one while at recess.  If necessary, bring cough drops to the school nurse who will dispense them to the child.
If your child needs to be on prescription medication
in school, please follow these guidelines:
  • PRESCRIPTION ORDER - When you go to the doctor, have the doctor write an order or fill out the school form and bring it into the school nurse.
  • LABELED PRESCRIPTION CONTAINER - At the pharmacy, ask for an extra container for school with the complete prescription label on it.
  • PERMISSION SLIP - Medical needs should be included on the medical permission slip.
  • PERSONAL ADULT DELIVERY - Parent/guardian MUST bring the medication into school personally, do not send with child.
Thankyou for your cooperation in following these health precautions toprotect your child and other children from illnesses.  We know it can bedifficult for working parents to have a sick child at home.
Important Message to Parents with
Children Entering Kindergarten

Immunization Requirements for
All Children Entering Kindergarten

In accordance with the Rhode Island Department of Health Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Immunization and Testing for Communicable Diseases (R23-1-IMM), all children entering kindergarten are required to have the following immunizations:
  • Three (3) doses of hepatitis B vaccine
  • Five (5) doses of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine
  • Four (4) doses of polio vaccine
  • Two (2) doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine
  • Two (2) doses of varicella (chicken pox) vaccine or statement signed by your child's doctor stating that your child has a history of  pox disease.
Allchildren entering kindergarten are required to be up-to-date on theirchildhood immunizations as well as have a physical exam.  This is theperfect opportunity to review you child's immunization record with hisor her doctor to ensure your child is protected from allvaccine-preventable diseases.

An annual Influenza (flu) vaccination is now RECOMMENDEDfor all children 6 month-18 years of age to prevent the spread of fluto others in day care, preschool and school settings as well as at homeand in the community.  Influenza vaccine is available from Octoberthrough April each year.  Don't forget to ask your doctor about the fluvaccine.

Remember!!! Ask your doctor about your child's LEAD SCREENING TEST too!  Evidence that your child has been tested for lead poisoning is also a requirement for entry into kindergarten.

As of September 2006, vision screening is a requirement for school entry.  For details visit

June 2010

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