Health Services FAQs

  • Head Injuries/ Concussions

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    A concussion also called mild traumatic brain injury or head injury (mTBI) is an injury sustained to the brain resulting from a direct blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. Following a concussion the brain’s cells undergo chemical and metabolic changes which irritate and interrupt normal brain function.  Children and adolescents are at greatest risk for concussions and they take longer to recover from a brain injury than adults. Students may report experiencing diminished mental energy and cognitive fatigue.  Any student reporting to the school nurses office stating they have obtained a blow to the head, face, nose or forceful body jolt will be evaluated by the school nurse or athletic trainer for signs and symptoms of a concussion and parents will be notified.


    Signs and Symptoms  of Concussion: (Could be observed by coaches, certified athletic trainers, school nurses, school physician, teacher, counselor, administrator)

    1. Appears dazed, stunned, disoriented or demonstrates decreased alertness

    2. Demonstrates short term memory difficulty

    3. Answers questions slowly or inaccurately

    4. Slurred speech

    5. Seizures, loss of consciousness or changing level of consciousness

    6. Headache/feels “pressure” in the head

    7. Nausea or vomiting

    8. Dizziness or balance problems

    9. Sensitivity to light or sounds/noise

    10. Irritability or changes in personality and behavior

    11. Uneven pupillary findings

    12. Blurry or double vision

    13. Student “just doesn’t feel right”

    14. Feels confused or “foggy”

    15. Fatigue, drowsiness

    16. Numbness or tingling


      The school nurse will assess the student for signs and symptoms of a concussion and emergency medical treatment will be pursued if there is a deterioration of symptoms including a seizure, altered level of consciousness, vomiting, altered pupillary findings, or direct, severe neck pain associated with the injury.


      The school nurse will contact the injured student’s parent/guardian to make them aware of head injury incident and possible concussion. If the student’s symptoms do not require emergency medical treatment the nurse will conduct a concussion symptom check every 15 minutes for at least the first 30 minutes after the student arrives in the nurse’s office. After the initial 30 minutes evaluation the school nurse will re-evaluate the student’s neurological status hourly until the end of the school day or until symptoms escalate and further medical evaluation is needed.


      Head Injury Information/Concussion Guidelines for Educators sheet will be sent home with a student who suffers any head trauma while at school. For reference please see the Muhlenberg School District Concussion Managment in Schools Policy No.201.3.

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  • How to work with the school nurse to protect your child's health.

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    To make the best of your relationship with the school nurse:

      -  Join forces with the nurse in promoting good health in the school by keeping your child home when he/she is sick, especially if they are running a fever. In addition, notify the nurse if your child develops an infectious disease or condition such as pinkeye or strep throat.

      -  Keep your child up to date on their immunization schedule. Make sure your child has all the appropriate shots and boosters for her age, and give a copy of those records to the school nurse each year.

      -  Provide current emergency contact information. The school nurse should have a way of contacting you in the event of an emergency. It is important to have up- to- date work, cell phone and alternate contact information. It is also important to provide back-up contacts should you be unavailable during the day.

    -  Keep the school nurse informed. If your child has had any recent changes in their health status please call or email the school nurse as soon as possible so that any accommodations that need to be made for them can happen in a timely manner. If your child has an ongoing condition, it is a good idea to meet with or call the school nurse periodically to update medical information.

    -Call or email the school nurse for help anytime. School nurses are very knowledgeable about many different areas of health care and community resources that can assist your child and your family.

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  • What about Headlice?

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    As parents, when anyone mentions the word "headlice" we all begin to scratch our heads and panic that our child could be"infected". Yes, the "ick" factor is definitely there for all of us but here are the medical facts:

    Pediculosis or Head lice, is a common parasitic insect that can be found on the head, eyebrows and eyelashes of people. Head lice feed on human blood several times a day and live close to the human scalp. Head lice have been around since prehistoric times and do not spread disease. Head lice are found world wide and do not discriminate based on cleanliness, sex, age, or economics. Head lice are acquired through direct head to head contact with an infested person’s hair, shared combs, hats or other accessories.Your child will not get headlice by sitting next to a child with headlice in class or on the bus. Headlice DO NOT fly, jump or walk across a desk to get to your child.They needs a warm human body to live on and lay their eggs. Best friends, sleepovers, hugging, sharing clothing and hair accessories are the most common routes to pass headlice around. Head lice may remain alive off of the human body on furniture or bedding for 24-48 hours.

    As per recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the PA Department of Health and the National Association for School Nurses, routine screening in schools for head lice has not been proven to have a significant effect on decreasing the incidence of head lice and is not shown to be cost effective. Head lice are not a public health risk and they do not transmit any disease.Therefore, exclusion from school upon the discovery of head lice is strongly discouraged. Routine screening of class rooms for head lice is not done in Muhlenberg School District. Parents/guardians will be notified immediately by phone and letter if their child is found to have an active head lice infestation (live lice). Please reference Muhlenberg School District Pediculosis (Headlice) Policy No. 209.2.

    If you have any questions or concerns about headlice please don't hesitate to call oe email your school nurse. All information you share with us is always confidential. We are here to help you understand and conquer this "itchy" subject as painlessly as possible.

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  • What about medications in school?

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    Over-the-counter medications

    The Pennsylvania Department of Health has recently changed its medication administration policy for schools. All schools in Pennsylvania must now have parent permission before they are able to administer over- the counter medications (OTC)(such as medications for pain, fever, upset stomach, cough etc.).

    Prescription Medications

    a.) If your child needs prescription medication or over-the-counter medication(OTC) not available in the Health Room, a Medication Administration Form must be completed by the parent/guardian and signed by your health care provider. Medications to be given in school must be in the original container, labeled with the child’s name, name and the dosage of the medication to be given , and the date(s) and times the medication is to be given. ALL medication to be given in school must be delivered to the school nurse by the parent/guardian.

    b.) Send only medications which absolutely must be given during school hours. Try to space medication doses to avoid school hours whenever possible.

    c.) If your child has asthma and carries an inhaler or needs to carry an Epi-Pen for severe allergic reaction, please have your health care provider complete the Muhlenberg School District medication administration form yearly.


    Please reference the Muhlenberg School District Use of Medication Policy No. 210 and 210.AR.

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  • When Is a Doctor’s Excuse Needed?

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    According to Muhlenberg School District Attendance policy No. 204, if your child is absent three or more consecutive days, in addition to the absentee excuse blank you are required to submit you must also turn in a note from your health care provider. To avoid unnecessary excessive absence letters, students who visit a health care provider during any absence should bring a note to school from that provider. This is especially important if your child has been diagnosed with a communicable disease such as chickenpox. A medical provide excuse is also needed if your child cannot participate in physical education class or any other required school activities due to an injury or illness.


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  • When Should You Keep Your Child Home From School?

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    Please check your child for signs of illness before sending him/her to school. To prevent the spread of germs, it is advisable to keep your child home from school if he/she shows any of the following symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, unusual skin rash, fever 100 degrees or over, persistent cough, chills, severe headache or migraine, redness and discharge from the eyes, severe sore throat or any unusual abdominal or other pain. A child who is ill will not be able to learn, may infect other children and will not be happy. Please do not send your child to the school nurse with a known illness or injury and request that the nurse examine him/her and prescribe treatment. Only a physician/CRNP/PA outside of the school can diagnose and treat illness and injuries.

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