Notes from the Nurse
Epiphany James, School Nurse
It is always a pleasure to take care of your child(ren) each year at Halpin Early Childhood Center. A healthy mind and a healthy body breed academic excellence. I am here to assist you and your child in staying healthy. As a Houston ISD nurse, I do not diagnose. I assess your child’s health and make recommendations based upon each individual. My door is always open to you to discuss any concerns that you may have.
It is a challenge to obtain and maintain our students’ immunization level to the standards required by the state of Texas. If your child’s immunizations are incomplete, you will be sent a letter by the school nurse to inform you. In order for your child to remain in school, the immunizations required must be obtained within the time designated and proof of immunization must be provided to the nurse before being re-admitted to class. For a complete list of required immunizations, please see below.
A Physician’s Request for Administration of Medication during School Hours form must be completed by the PHYSICIAN (not by the parent), signed by the parent; and then returned to the school nurse before medication can be given to your child. The nurse cannot administer over the counter medications, such as Tylenol without a physician’s request. This form can be obtained from the nurse, the front office, or downloaded off of the HISD web site. All medications must be prescribed by a physician and must be brought to school by an adult in its original labeled container. Medications must be brought to the school by an adult, not the child. If your child has allergies, please have it documented in writing.
If your child has allergies to certain foods, Houston ISD has a Special Dietary Request form that must be obtained from the office or the school nurse for the doctor to specify what foods must be eliminated from your child’s cafeteria meal. Once the forms have been completed by the doctor, it normally takes 2 to 3 weeks before a special meal is provided for your child. Please send a lunch from home until you are notified that a special lunch is being provided.
Hundreds of days are missed each school year because of head lice infestation. A child found to have lice must be excluded from school until treated with an effective pediculicide shampoo. Upon returning to school, parents must bring the child to the school nurse to recheck the student’s hair. The bed sheets, blankets, pillows, and the entire home environment should be treated as well. If you, the parent, find head lice in your child’s hair, please inform the school nurse as soon as possible. Follow up screening will be done in your child’s classroom. Lastly, teach your child not to share combs, brushes, hats or scarves with anyone.
Please send a complete set of extra clothes in a labeled Ziploc bag in the event that your child has an accident. Our students get excited about learning and sometimes fail to go to the restroom on time. When the clothes are used, please replace them with another set. As the temperature changes, replace with weather-appropriate clothes.
To protect your children from getting their feet injured and to prevent them from slipping and falling only supportive enclosed-toe and enclosed-heel shoes are allowed. Wearing sandals, flip-flops, clogs, or Crocs is prohibited.
Keep Your Child Home:
• When they have a fever of 100 degrees or >. Students must be fever free without the use of fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours.
• If the student has vomiting or diarrhea, the child must be symptom free for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
• When your child has a skin rash that has not been diagnosed by a doctor as being non –contagious the nurse needs a medical release for the student to return to school.
• If your child has untreated inflamed/pink eyes,a doctor’s note is required to return to school. If inflammation is due to “allergies,” the doctor must document it.
• If your child has a medical condition that will spread from one person to the next (contagious), for example, the flu, strep throat, chickenpox, infectious pink eye, etc.
When your child is seen by the doctor, please make sure that you bring a doctor’s note for your child to return to school.
Sometimes unavoidable circumstances occur when your phone services may be temporarily interrupted. Pleas notify the office staff and your child’s teacher of any changes in your contact information. Also provide numbers of persons who have the transportation means to pick up your child in the event that you are not able to.
Important Student Health Note
At the beginning of each school year, it is a challenge to obtain and maintain our students' immunization level to the standards required by the state of Texas. By the time your child begins school, he/she should have the following required immunizations:
• Hepatitis B - 3 doses
• DTAP - 4 doses required (1 additional recommended) before age 5
• HIB - 4 doses before age 5
• Polio - 4 doses
• MMR - 2 doses
• Varicella (chickenpox) - 2 doses or a history of having the illness
• Hepatitis A - 2 doses
• Prevnar - 4 doses required (1 additional recommended) before age 5
If your child's immunizations are incomplete, you will be sent a letter by the nurse to inform you. In order for your child to remain in school, the immunizations required must be obtained within the time designated and proof of immunizations must be provided to the nurse before being readmitted to class.
It is also important to keep our students healthy and well. Please help your child(ren) to learn to cover their coughs and sneezes and wash their hands after doing so. It is also recommended that they wash their hands after using the restroom, before eating, and when hands are soiled. To minimize episodes of illness, dress your children appropriate for the weather. If your child has symptoms such as fever, nausea and vomiting, sore inflamed throat, or any health condition that alters their ability to function and focus in the classroom, please have them evaluated immediately by a physician. Do not send them to school sick. If you must give medicine for fever before sending them, they need to remain at home.
I look forward to taking care of your child each year, and the Halpin clinic's door is always open to you to discuss any concerns that you may have.
A healthy mind and a healthy body breed academic excellence!