HEALTH OFFICE NEWS:
Contact Health Office Staff
Office number: (951) 571-4260 extension 23025 Fax number: (951) 571-4265
School Nurse: Holly Estes MPH, RN, NCSN, Credentialed School Nurse
Email: [email protected]
Health Clerk Technician: Christine Ramsey
Email: [email protected]
Welcome to the Health Office! The School Nurse for Vista Heights Middle School is Holly Estes and the Health Clerk Technician is Christine Ramsey. The health office would like to extend a warm welcome to all students and their parents. We are looking forward to working with you and your children. To ensure your child’s health and safety we would like to share a few items with you.
Glimpse of How the Health Office Works:
Students are sent to the nurse’s office by a teacher or other school staff for evaluation of possible illness or injury. They are assessed and given first aid if necessary whether it is a scraped knee, tummy ache, fever, or more serious injury such as an allergic reaction, broken bone or concussion. We maintain health records of all students which includes immunizations and health history such as medical diagnoses, surgeries, current medications (given at home as well as school), allergies (seasonal, drug, food, life threatening), and any other pertinent health information about your child.
The health office is also here to give emotional bandaids. Sometimes a child is sad, homesick, or overwhelmed in class and just needs some TLC! A little one-on-one attention and a patient, willing ear are often all it takes to help a child rejoin the classroom. We work closely with the counselors and teachers to ensure your child is happy and safe at school.
If the health office calls you about your sick child for pick-up please help us ensure the health of other students and school staff by picking up your child in a timely manner. Our expectation is for you to pick up your child within 30 minutes or less. If this isn’t feasible please communicate the time frame you will be able to pick up your child. Students may not be left in the health office for the school day. Remember we are a first aid station only, not a clinic.
Please complete the Emergency Card and return it to the school (found in your packet). We look forward to working with you and your student to manage any acute or ongoing health concerns. It is especially helpful to have current phone numbers and to be aware of any health related issues that may impact your student’s ability to learn, attend class regularly or to get about the building safely.
Please be aware if you inform your child’s teacher of a health concern, that information isn’t always shared with the health office. We highly encourage you to also inform the health office so we can update your child’s health record. Please notify the School Nurse if your child has any significant health concerns which may affect him/her during the school day such as any severe allergies, surgeries, accidents or new health problems that occurred during the summer months or which may occur during the school year.
If your child has been diagnosed with a food allergy please take the following steps:
Parent to complete:
- Notify the health office of any known allergy
- Indicate allergy information on Emergency Card
- Complete and return allergy heath history form. Forms can be picked up from the health office.
Physician to complete:
- Nutritional services meal accommodation form. Form will be given to the cafeteria so your child’s allergy will be flagged appropriately.
- Physician authorization form if your child requires medication to be available at school such as an Epi-pen, Auvi Q, and/or Benadryl.
- Allergy testing. Please provide a copy of testing results to the health office for our school records. This is to ensure the safety of your child. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends blood allergy testing every two to three years.
Here is the MVUSD Nutritional Services link for a list of menu options and allergen information: http://www.schoolnutritionandfitness.com/index.php?sid=1906091842471116&page=menus
Immunizations are important to keep all our students safe and healthy. Moreover, they are required for continued attendance at school. Non-compliant students can be excluded in cases of an outbreak. Immunizations are available from your provider/clinic, many pharmacies, or public health clinics.
Per California law, parents/guardians must submit proof of immunization when:
- A child is newly admitted to a pre-kindergarten facility or TK/K-12 school
- A child attending pre-kindergarten reaches the next immunization checkpoint (based on age)
- A student advances to the 7th grade.
Incoming 7th Graders:
California State Law requires that all students entering 7th grade must have completed their immunizations for school entry as follows:
- Tdap (whooping cough-pertussis); keep in mind, a dose of “DTaP” will not meet this requirement if it was given before age 7. “Td” does not meet the requirement.
- 5 doses Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (4 doses if one given after 4 years old, 3 doses if one given after 7 years old.)
- 2 doses MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella)
- 2 doses Varicella (Chicken Pox)
- 3 doses Hepatitis B vaccine boosters
- 4 doses Polio (OPV or IPV) (3 doses OK if one was given on or after the 4th birthday.)
Please be aware of the following regarding exemptions:
- Medical exemptions for new admissions may be signed only by a California-licensed MD/DO
- Each temporary medical exemption may be issued for no more than 12 months
Contact the health office for any questions or to update your child’s immunization status. If your child recently received immunizations, please provide a copy of their Immunization Record to the school health office. Here is a link to required vaccines for school attendance: http://www.shotsforschool.org/
Injuries That Require Crutches and/or Wheelchair:
Children who come to school with crutches, a cast, splint, sling, concussion, stitches, etc. will need to bring the school nurse a note from the doctor which details activity limitations for PE and recess. When those limitations have changed or are no longer in effect, the health office will need another note from the physician to be released to participate.
Crutches and/or wheelchair use in school require a doctor’s note. If your child is seen in the Emergency Room for an injury that requires crutches and/or a wheelchair, please have the doctor write on the note that the child may use crutches and/or a wheelchair at school. If the note isn’t specific you will be asked to get another note from your doctor and your child may be excluded from school until a proper note is received. This is to ensure the safety of your child.
We must have a Physician Medication Authorization Form on file with the school nurse for any medications taken at school. Yes, this even includes meds like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, topical creams, inhalers, and allergy medications! NO child is to take or carry PRESCRIPTION OR OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATIONS to school. The Physician Medication Authorization Form must be completed and signed by both physician and the parent. This form along with the prescribed medication in its original container must be brought to school by the parent/guardian; medication will not be accepted by a student. The Physician Medication Authorization Form is only valid for the current school year. A new medication form will need to be completed for each school year.
State Mandated Health Screening:
Vision & hearing takes place each year for 8th grade students. Referral letters are sent home or phone calls made if there are any concerns. In addition, the school nurse completes health assessments for special education programs and student assistance referrals for any 6th, 7th, or 8th grade student.
When Should Your Child Stay Home:
It is our goal for students to attend classes every day school is in session. However, there are times when students need to stay home for their own health and/or the health and safety of others. Below are some guidelines to help families decide when to keep students at home:
- Fever- Temperature 100 degrees Fahrenheit or over- Students need to stay home for 24 hours after their temperature has returned to normal without the help of fever –reducing medications such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen.
- Diarrhea –three or more loose or watery stools in a 24-hour period, especially if the student feels ill. Students should stay home for 24 hours after the last watery stool.
- Vomiting – two or more times during the last 24-hours, especially if the student feels ill. Students should stay home for 24 hours after the last time they vomited.
- Rash-of unknown origin or those known to be contagious such as ringworm, impetigo or scabies. Students may return to school as soon as treatment has begun.
- Eyes – that are draining mucus or pus or that have unusual redness, itchiness or pain not due to injury or allergy.
- Live lice- your child may return to school once hair treatment and all nits have been removed. After hair has been treated do not drop your child off at school without having your child’s hair rechecked by the school health office. You must come with your child to the health office for a head check PRIOR to letting your child return to school.
- Persistent Coughing – Students who are unable to participate in classroom activities due to persistent coughing should stay home.
- Fatigue – Students who are unusually tired, pale, lack appetite, or who are difficult to wake, confused or unusually irritable.
- Diagnosed Strep Throat or Bacterial Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) – Must stay home 24 hours after first dose of antibiotics.
If your child shows any of the above symptoms at school you may be called to pick them up. We suggest that you also consult your health care provider. Please consult your school nurse or health care provider if you are unsure whether or not your child should miss school due to health conditions. Remember to report the reason for your child’s absence to the office staff or school nurse according to your school’s official policies/procedures.
Please also report to the Front Office or School Nurse for any of these diagnosed conditions that are highly contagious so that we can alert the staff and families (especially those who are pregnant, have young infants at home, and those who are immune-compromised or suppressed): Chickenpox, Fifth’s Disease, Hand/Foot/Mouth Disease, Strep Throat, Influenza A and B, Pertussis/Whooping Cough, Norovirus, Tuberculosis (TB), Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Infectious Mononucleosis, Herpes Zoster (Shingles), or Poliomyelitis.
Most childhood illnesses are over soon and are no cause for worry. But, if the symptoms are severe or persist for more than 24 hours, parents/guardians should call your child's healthcare provider.
We hope this information is helpful to you. If we can be of any help throughout the year please don’t hesitate to call us at school.
Holly Estes MPH, RN, NCSN, Credentialed School Nurse
Christine Ramsey, Health Clerk Technician
Frequently Used Health Forms:
Please click any of the forms below that pertain to your child's health. Complete and save each form, and then email them as attachments to the school nurse or health technician. Thank you.