Health News

Tri-Center School Nurse Notes 
Jennifer McGee, School Nurse

Vision Screening required for K-3 students for 2015-16 school year

posted Mar 26, 2015, 1:25 PM by TC Administrator   [ updated Mar 26, 2015, 1:26 PM ]

Dear Parents, 

Below is the certificate of vision screening.  The Iowa Department of Public Health has implemented a vision screening law for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year.  It is for all incoming Kindergarten and 3rd grade students.  This form is officially due February 2016.  We want to hand it out now as many of you will get check-ups in the Spring and Summer months.   

Please call or email if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Jennifer McGee
Tri-Center School Nurse

Stay informed: Ebola facts

posted Oct 6, 2014, 9:41 AM by TC Administrator   [ updated Oct 6, 2014, 9:41 AM ]

The following information has been provided to Tri-Center from our local health department.  

Ebola identification in Texas
It is understandable that there is concern about the identification of an Ebola case in Texas. Healthcare providers are asked to help alleviate concern among patients by discussing the disease and its implications to the U.S. with them.  Here are some facts that you can use when discussing this virus with your patients:
  • Ebola is not a virus spread through the air.
  • You can only get Ebola by having direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person.
  • People can only spread this illness when they are sick and actively having symptoms.
  • There is a world of difference between the healthcare systems in the U.S. and the parts of Africa where Ebola is spreading.
  • Our hospitals and healthcare providers handle very contagious illnesses every day.
  • Our hospitals and healthcare providers are well-trained and equipped to handle any infectious disease, including Ebola.
For additional information and resources, visit www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html.

Update on Viral Infection Enterovirus D68

posted Sep 29, 2014, 1:26 PM by TC Administrator   [ updated Sep 29, 2014, 1:26 PM ]

A viral infection,called Enterovirus D68, is on the rise around the country and getting lots of publicity. It is one of the 100 plus enteroviruses that circulates every year. Like other viruses it can cause mild to severe respiratory illnesses.  Coughing and wheezing can come on quickly especially with a history of asthma or compromised immune system.  There is no treatment, or anti-viral medications to treat this EV-D68 infection.  

Prevention is the key!  Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.  Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with 'dirty' hands. When your friends and family members are sick, do not share cups and avoid hugging/kissing.  Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, when someone is sick.

Many infections resolve on their own and require only treatment at home.  Drink plenty of fluids, rest, stay home so you do not spread the virus to others, and clean frequently to stop the spread of the virus to other family members.  You should, however, contact the physician if your child experiences difficulty breathing.

Immunization requirement for 7th graders

posted Sep 29, 2014, 1:25 PM by TC Administrator   [ updated Sep 29, 2014, 1:25 PM ]

The Immunization Program has begun the rule making process for the secondary school Tdap vaccine (Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis) requirement and anticipates implementation at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. Iowa is among 10 states that currently does not require proof of the Tdap vaccine at the present time.  Parents will need to submit an updated Immunization Certificate to me within 60 days of the first day of school.  The Iowa Department of Public Health will audit the Immunization Certificates as they do the Kindergarten ones.

If your child will be in 7th grade next fall and has already received the Tdap vaccine, you are more than welcome to submit an updated Immunization Certificate form to me now. Tdap is available to kids starting at age 11.   For more information or questions please contact me at  jmcgee@tctrojans.org.

Dental Certificate required for incoming Freshmen

posted Sep 29, 2014, 1:24 PM by TC Administrator   [ updated Sep 29, 2014, 1:24 PM ]

Attention Parents of 8th grade students:  When your child enters 9th grade, he or she will need a completed Dental Certificate form that is required by the State of Iowa.  If your child visits the dentist for a routine cleaning, have that form signed and turn it into the Main office or nurse’s office.  These forms are available at all Dentist offices in Iowa. If your child sees a dentist in Nebraska, forms may be picked up from Mrs. Morse or Mrs. McGee. The form is valid if your child is examined by a dentist anytime during his or her 8th grade year or the summer before 9th grade.  Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions.

Medication Policy

posted Sep 29, 2014, 1:22 PM by TC Administrator   [ updated Sep 29, 2014, 1:22 PM ]

Prescription medication:

All prescription medication that needs to be taken during school hours must arrive in the original prescription container with the following on the label: Name of the student, name of the medication, direction for use, and time of day to be administered at school.  There must be a doctor’s note with the above labeling information. Prescription medications will not be administered by the school nurse unless a doctor’s note is on file.

Over the counter medications:

A parent note is required for over the counter medications, including cough drops. If you want your child to take them during school hours the note needs to include student’s name, name of medication and directions for use. Liquid medication needs to come in the original bottle. Tablets and capsules need to be in their labeled package, not sent loosely in a baggie.

All medications are stored in a locked medication cabinet in the nurse’s office and will be administered per directions of the doctor or parent’s note. Tylenol will be given at the discretion of the school nurse, or authorized faculty member, if consent is documented on the Student Profile.  

These policies are enforced for the safety of the students.

Head Lice Policy

posted Sep 29, 2014, 1:21 PM by TC Administrator   [ updated Sep 29, 2014, 1:21 PM ]

Revised April 2010

Head lice persists as a problem for Iowa school age children.  Joanna Ibarra’s paper entitled “Head Lice in School Children” remains a source of insight on how best to deal with head lice.  After studying Ibarra’s research, the Iowa Department of Public Health changed the treatment approach for head lice.  

1.   Routine school-based screenings have been discontinued.  The parent is held responsible to do the screenings.  Parents should screen their children weekly for 15-20 minutes in good light. Parents should screen every evening if concerned.  School staff members and parents should assume there are head lice in the community and schools at all times.

2.   Any school personnel member may make a referral to the school nurse for an individual screen.  All screenings will be completed with privacy for the child.

3.   If head lice are found, the parent will be notified.  The treatment protocol can be reviewed at this time.  Although children are allowed to remain in school for the balance of the day, parents are highly encouraged to remove their child immediately!  Letters may be sent home with other classmates to let parents know that head lice was found in their child’s classroom.  Names of the infested child are kept confidential.

4.   Parents are encouraged to conduct the two week shampoo and wet combing technique for lice removal and elimination.  This technique has been proven effective, is the least expensive, and least toxic.  Head lice shampoo is found at local pharmacies and some grocery stores.  The shampoo is medicated and you should always read the warning label on the package before using.  Like any over the counter medication, you can consult your physician or pharmacist for questions or concerns.

5.  Most of your time and energy should be spent removing lice and nits from the child’s hair.  To prevent re-infestation, it is recommended to launder bed linens, vacuum all upholstery & carpets and place all stuffed animal in a sealed, plastic bag for 2 weeks.  Once lice are found on a member of the household, all members of the household should be checked routinely.  Promptly treat everyone on the same day if they have it.

6.  Parents, if you have found head lice on your child or treat it, please notify the school nurse.

7.   “No nit” policies have been discontinued.

8.   When head lice seems impossible to treat, call your physician.  They can prescribe head lice treatment products or validate the effectiveness of home remedies.   

9.   In the event that a child’s head lice continues for a prolonged period, or becomes a repetitive issue, Tri-Center Community School District reserves the right to keep the child out of school until free of head lice and/or nits.  Tri-Center may also insist on a doctor’s order before the child can continue to attend school.  Should it become apparent that neglect is present, authorities will be contacted immediately. 

10 Head lice infestation is a nation-wide problem.  Nits and lice are a challenge to conquer, but with patience and persistence of the family, school can be lice-free.  However, the problem must be dealt with or it will not go away.

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