Student Health Services

Our Nurses

Cheryl Greathouse & Margaret Gibson, the school district nurses, serve the students in our schools according to a schedule available at any of the schools. The school district carries on an active and comprehensive health services program. The health status of the child bears a direct relationship to the child’s ability to profit from educational experiences.

Immunizations

Washington State Law requires full immunization of all students enrolled in the District through the age of 18. Immunization must be completed before the first day of school. Students may be exempted from the requirements for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons. A physician’s signature needs to accompany a waiver for medical purposes; a parent’s or guardian’s signature for religious or philosophical reasons. Immunization forms are available at your child’s school or from Whatcom County Public Health Department 360-384-1528 or 360-676-6720

 

 

Does your child have a “medical home”?

A “medical home” is a partnership between a family and their child's primary doctor that is based on mutual trust and respect so that the family feels supported in meeting their child’s medical needs. A medical home is not a building, house, or hospital, but rather an approach to providing comprehensive health care.

Research has shown that all children benefit from annual visits with their doctor.  Here are five reasons why:

  • You receive health educational materials specific to your child’s age. 
  1. You have a chance to bring up any questions you have about your child’s development, overall health or specific condition.
  2. It gives the child positive experiences with the doctor and their staff when they are not sick. 
  3. Annual visits also allow the doctor to collect information about the child’s health before an urgent problem comes up. 
  4. It is much faster and easier to get an urgent appointment if your child has been seen within the last year. 

So, how do I get a medical home for my child? 

  1. Start by making sure your child has health insurance.  If they don’t, WAHA can help you sort out your options, for example: 
    1. A family of four making $4300 a month can qualify for medical, dental, and vision coverage for their children for only $15 a month. 
    2. Other options include: commercial student plans, individual and family plans, catastrophic plans, and Health Savings Accounts. 
  1. Next, schedule a complete physical with a doctor who accepts your child’s insurance.  This type of appointment can also clear your child to play sports for the coming year.  If you are having trouble finding a doctor, WAHA can help.
  1. And finally, prepare for the visit.  Call WAHA for a tip sheet on what to expect during a complete physical at your child’s age and possible questions to ask your doctor.  These tip sheets are also available on-line at http://www.brightfutures.org/encounter/family/index.html  

The Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Access (WAHA) is a local, non-profit community service that can give you more information on these health insurance options.    

           

POLICY ON ADMINISTERING MEDICATIONS TO STUDENTS

Parents are encouraged to give medication outside of school hours whenever possible. If a child has to take medicine during school hours, the medicine must be labeled with the original prescription. This includes the child’s name, date, name of physician, name of the drug, dosage, when and how to take the medication. A Medication Authorization Form must be completed and signed by parent and physician, regardless of whether the medication is prescription or non prescription. Forms may be obtained from school office personnel or school nurses. The medication must be delivered to school by parent, in the original labeled container.The child must be responsible to go to the office to take the medicine at the prescribed times. If a student chooses to self-administer a medication, a Medication Authorization Form must also be signed by physician and parent. Medication Authorization Forms need to be renewed annually. If these above guidelines are not followed, the school district may deny request for medication administration.

Child Abuse

Unfortunately, school personnel do come in contact with children who have been victims of child abuse. By State law (RCW26.44.040), when professional school personnel have "reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered child abuse or neglect, he shall report such incident, or cause a report to be made, to the proper law enforcement agency or to the department of social and health service." The law continues, "Any other person who has reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered child abuse or neglect may report such incident to the proper law enforcement agency or to the department of social and health services."

The local telephone number for child protection is 360-354-4183.

General Health Information

We like to see healthy children at school. For the protection of all students, including your child, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • Never send an obviously sick child to school.
  • A child with a sore throat, severe cough, earache, who has been vomiting or who has had a fever of 100 or more within the past 24 hours should not be sent to school.
  • A child with a known communicable disease (chicken pox, impetigo, strep, scarletina, scabies, ringworm, etc.) should not be sent to school without the specific approval of your doctor.
  • A child with head lice will not be allowed to attend school until nit-free. Please notify the school immediately if your child is infested with head lice, as treatment should be sought.
  • If your child has been ill with a cold or flu, please use common sense and your own good judgement as to whether or not to send your child back to school.

If a child becomes ill at school, symptoms are noted but not treated and the parent is notified to pick up the child. In the event of a serious injury, parents are contacted for direction; if it is impossible to contact the parents, medical assistance will be obtained.

The school office should be made aware of children with known medical or health problems.