SCHOOL NURSE - Screenings & Advice

Mandated Screenings

Pennsylvania Public School Code of 1949, Section 1402(a)* states "Each child of school age shall be given by methods established by the Advisory Health Board, (I) a vision test by a school nurse, medical technician or teacher, (2) a hearing test by a school nurse or medical technician, (3) a measurement of height and weight by a school nurse or teacher and (4) such other tests as the Advisory Health Board may deem advisable to protect the health of the child. Vision tests shall be given at least annually and other tests at intervals established by the Advisory Health Board."

When should you keep your child home from school?

The following information should be considered a guideline for keeping an ill child home. Of course parents know their child's health status and ability to "tough out" various common childhood illnesses. Parents who have specific questions or concerns should call their school nurse.


1. Colds - What seems like a mild cold with symptoms such as a runny nose may indeed be allergies. If the child does not have a fever or a severe cough, don't keep the child home. On the other hand colds especially those with a fever can be signs of a more serious problem. These children should stay home.

2. Fever - Any child with a temperature of 100 degrees or above should stay home until the fever is normal for 24 hours. If the fever is accompanied by a sore throat, earache, nausea, listlessness, or a rash the child may be contagious.

3. Diarrhea or Vomiting - Children need to stay home if either occurred during the previous night.

4. Strep Throat or Scarlet Fever - Both are highly contagious. These children need antibiotics and may return to school with a doctor’s permission while they are being treated. Remember to complete the prescribed medication.

5. Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) - This can be highly contagious depending on the cause. Children can return to school with the permission of the treating doctor. Practice good hand washing.

6. Ear Infections - If left untreated ear infections can cause hearing loss. They should be treated immediately. Children with pain and or fever should remain at home.

7. Chicken Pox - Children must stay home for at least 6 days after the last crop of vesicles appear. Never give aspirin or Ibuprofen.

8. Lice - Children must be treated before they come to school. Nits must be removed as a part of the treatment. Use an appropriate lice shampoo.


If you are not sure about when to keep a child home or have questions about treatment call your child's doctor or your school nurse.

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