High School, Grades 9-12
High School is an exciting and interesting time in growth and development. Never is a healthy lifestyle and healthy habits more important for growth and development than in high school years.
On this page we endeavor to provide some tips for parents and students to facilitate good health. Our school nurses are always available for consultation - if you have a question not answered here, please ask.
High school years (14-19) can be a turbulent time for both teens and their parents. Growth and developmental changes are taking place. Teens undergo physical and sexual maturity.
Mentally, teens focus on the present and still have difficulty understanding long-term consequences of behavior. They are developing abstract thought and logic and become introspective as they develop their own set of values.
Socially/emotionally teens seek relationships with the opposite sex and their friends. They are exceedingly concerned with their physical appearance. Teens may experiment with body art and body piercing. Appetite varies as a result of the teen’s growth rate. Food fads are common. Peer approval may dictate eating patterns and extremes in dietary intake and/or restrictions. Malnutrition or obesity may develop.
While teens long for independence, they still desire dependence. Teens are on their way to developing their own identity and while doing so may challenge their parents or other authorities.
As the circle of acquaintances and friends expands, teens encounter new individuals with a variety of ideals and standards. Entertainment media supplies a continuous source of visual and written stimulation. It is imperative that parents reserve uninterrupted time to maintain a dialogue with their teen. Listening is a major part of communication.
Teens respond well to a parent’s concern and seek guidance regarding underage drinking, drug /tobacco use, and sexual activity. Again, support and encourage your teen to avoid experimenting with these activities throughout their high school years. Research finds that children who avoid using alcohol and tobacco until their twenties can also avoid addiction to those substances. Those who abstain from sexual activity avoid sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy that will shape their futures. Given the chance, teens will respond positively to expectations of abstinence. Let your values be known.
Know your teens: who are their friends, where do they spend their time, what are they reading, what are they watching, who is giving them advice, what are their values and goals. An active teen with good friends and involved adult guidance can fill their high school years with many great memories and be prepared for a healthful future.
Contact the school nurse if your teen develops health concerns. Educational time can be lost or compromised if emotional or physical concerns are not addressed. Many times these concerns can be resolved once the reason is determined. Monitor grades and attendance. Changes, subtle or abrupt, in behavior that last more than a few days may be the only "symptom" you see.
Parents and their teens can benefit from the school nurses’ resources. Take advantage of them; the sooner the better.
Communication is the key to keeping your child safe at school. Call you child’s school and establish a connection with the school nurse. Some nurses serve more than one school so their schedules may vary. You may talk with your school nurse during school hours (7:30AM-3:30PM or 8:00AM-4PM). School Nurse
You may notify the school nurse. Depending on the health problem (Asthma, seizures, Diabetes etc.), the school nurse will ask you for further information. You may be asked to complete specific health problem care plans. It is very important to return this information in a timely fashion. Your health provider’s signature may be required on these care plans. Keeping your school nurse informed and your child’s health care needs updated will provide a healthful learning atmosphere.
Children should be kept at home if they have the following: fevers above 100°, vomiting and/or diarrhea, rash with fever, eye infections with eye discharge, communicable diseases (scabies, impetigo, ringworm, head lice~ until treated appropriately), any illness that prevents the child from participating comfortably in program activities or disrupts the other student’s participation, and illness that results in a need for care that is greater than the staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children.
Note: It is recommended that children be fever free for 24 hours without the use of anti-fever medications (Tylenol®, ibuprofen, etc.) before returning to school.
School nurses and the child’s health care provider may furnish parents with up-to-date information about the general care of illness. Following FWCS Health Service recommendations and guidelines, parents can determine when additional care is indicated, when to keep the child home and when to contact their health care provider. (Infectious Disease Prevention and Care of Illness)
Grade 12 (2014-15): As of the beginning of the 2014-15 school year All 12th grade seniors will be required to have a second dose of MCV4 (Menactra) to prevent against meningococcal meningitis. This shot is only required if dose number 1 was given before the 16th birthday.
Make sure that Immunizations are complete and up to date.
Health information can be accessed through your family health care provider or at a variety of other community resources. Information on children’s health and growth and development may be obtained at KidsHealth. Many children may qualify for a state medical insurance coverage program called Hoosier Healthwise. To find out about the plan and if your child may qualify visit the Family and Social Services Administration.
From time to time your child may be required to take medication during school hours. Parents, nurses and physicians are aware of the challenges that sometime occur when trying to balance learning, activities and medications. For this reason, we request that you discuss strategies with your health care provider in order to give medications at home. All prescription and/or over-the-counter medications must have a signed Authorization for Administration of Medications at School on file prior to administration. Over-the-counter medications such as cough drops, nasal sprays, cough and cold medications must meet the same requirements as for other medications. In addition to the required form, herbal supplements are considered as medications and need written instructions signed by a physician prior to administration. (Medication Forms)
Keeping the school and the nurse informed about changes in residence, telephone numbers (work and home), and emergency contacts is vital and the responsibility of the parent/guardian. We must be able to contact a parent/guardian or emergency contact during the school day. In case of an emergency involving your child, it is the policy of this school corporation to render first aid treatment while contacting the parents for further instructions. Only after reasonable efforts to reach the parents without success will we call a doctor and only in extreme cases will your child be taken to a hospital of 911 contacted.
Sports Health Information
A student participating in athletics must have a physical every year prior to try outs and practice. Some physicals are offered by the individual schools. Parents may have questions about sports and health concerns. Check with the athletic office or your school nurse for the physical forms and the scheduled dates.
Concussions are common injuries for students participating in sports. In order to prevent serious health consequences in the future, medical professionals now have new guidelines for the treatment of athletes that suffer head injuries and concussions. All student athletes and their parents are required to read information about concussions and sign a verification form that says they read this material before they may begin to practice for a sport. Further, coaches and trainers are required to remove students from participation in practice or competition as soon as a concussion is suspected. Students may not return to activity without written authorization from a licensed health care provider trained to evaluate head injuries. You can find parent and student concussion information and verification forms and health care provider return to play forms here.
- Concussion Fact Sheet for Athletes
- Concussion Fact Sheet for Parents
- Concussion and SCA Acknowledgement Form
- Health Care Provider Return to Play Form
- Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Fact Sheet for Parents
- Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Fact Sheet for Student Athletes
Transmission of MRSA among sports participants is a concern. Possible risk factors for infection include close physical contact, skin damage, and sharing of equipment or clothing. The risk for transmission of MRSA is much greater among sports participants than among students in a classroom. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published the following guidance for preventing staphylococcal skin infections in the sports setting:
- Cover all wounds. If a wound cannot be covered adequately, consider excluding players with potentially infectious skin lesions from practice or competitions until the lesions are healed or can be covered adequately.
- Encourage good hygiene, including showering and washing with soap after all practices and competitions.
- Ensure availability of adequate soap and hot water.
- Discourage sharing of towels and personal items, such as clothing or equipment.
- Encourage athletes to report skin lesions to coaches and encourage coaches to assess athletes regularly for skin infections.