The health office is staffed by a full time RN and a part time health aide. The nurse is available to administer medical assistance and first aid and dispense medication as directed by the physician and parent to students during the regular school day. She will develop individual health plans for students with chronic health conditions or handicaps. We maintain health records and make sure all state required physicals and immunizations are up to date. We will perform state mandated health screenings for vision, hearing, and scoliosis. Please notify the nurse of any health updates throughout the year. If there is any medical information you would like the nurse to be aware of, please feel free to contact her.
Tina Bennett, RN;
Middle School: Phone: 860-399-2010 Fax: 860-399-2006
High School: Phone: 860-399-6214 Fax:860-399-2007
Schools are a prime location for the flu virus to spread. It is hard to prevent kids from getting the flu this time of year for various reasons. The flu virus is spread by respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, and talking. Droplets can spread up to six feet away and land in the mouths or noses or people who are nearby. It can also be spread by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
- Children are three times more likely to get sick with the flu
- Children can pass the flu virus to others for a period of more than seven days after the symptoms start
- On average, one-third of family members in families with school age children are infected with the flu each year.
The flu is different than a cold. Both a cold and flu are respiratory illnesses, however they are caused by different virus’s and have different symptoms. The flu normally comes on suddenly. An easy way to recognize the flu symptoms are to remember the FLU FACTS.
(Fever, Aches, Chills, Tiredness, and Sudden onset)
Sometimes vomiting and diarrhea are seen with children.
Complications of the flu virus can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Key points to remember:
Teach your children to wash their hands often with soap and water. You can set a good example by doing this yourself. Good hand hygiene is the first line of defense against the flu. Hand sanitizer is acceptable if your hands are not visibly dirty.
Teach your children not to share personal items like drinks, food or unwashed utensils, and to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissues. If they don't have a tissue, they should cough or sneeze into their upper sleeve, not their hands.
Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of the flu include fever (100 degrees or greater), cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea.
Don't send children to school if they are sick. Any children who are sick at school will be sent home. Keeping your child home when sick will allow them to rest and also allows you to monitor their health closely. Keeping your sick child home is the responsible thing to do. It protects fellow students and school staff, especially those who are at higher risk of severe illness from the flu.
Remember- if you are sick, please STAY HOME! Please be vigilant of others and aware of the serious risk to students and staff when coming to school with flu-like symptoms. Thank you in advance for doing your part in keeping our schools healthy! If you have any questions or concerns please let me know.
Please consider vaccinating your child. It is always better to prevent a disease than treat it.
Remember that any child who is not vaccinated against a vaccine-preventable disease will be excluded from school per the Religious/Medical Exemption Form.
"I understand that during a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak at the above-identified school,
all susceptible children, including the student will be excluded from school if a public health
official determines that the school is a significant site for disease exposure, transmission and
spread into the community. In such case, such children, including the student shall be excluded
from school until: (1) the public health official determines that the outbreak danger has ended;
(2) the child becomes ill with the disease and completely recovers from it; (3) the child is
vaccinated according to public health protocol; or (4) the child has proof of immunity to the
Westbrook Public Schools
Measles: Outbreak and Control of Disease
May 1, 2019
Measles is an acute illness caused by a virus. It is characterized by fever (as high as 105°F) and malaise, cough, nasal congestion, and conjunctivitis, followed by a maculopapular rash. Measles is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing. Measles is usually a mild or moderately severe illness. However, it can result in complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis, and death. Approximately one case of encephalitis and two to three deaths may occur for every 1,000 reported measles cases.
The average incubation period for measles is 11–12 days, and the average interval between exposure and rash onset is 14 days. People with measles are usually considered infectious from four days before until four days after onset of rash with the rash onset being considered as day zero.
From January 1 to April 26, 2019, 704** individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 22 states. This is an increase of 78 cases from the previous week. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.
Reasons for an increase in cases in some years:
- 2018: The U.S. experienced 17 outbreaks in 2018. Three outbreaks in New York State, New York City, and New Jersey contributed to most of the cases. Cases in those states occurred primarily among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities. These outbreaks were associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel, where a large outbreak is occurring. Eighty-two people brought measles to the U.S. from other countries in 2018. This is the greatest number of imported cases since measles was eliminated from the U.S. in 2000.
- 2014: The U.S. experienced 23 measles outbreaks in 2014, including one large outbreak of 383 cases, occurring primarily among unvaccinated Amish communities in Ohio. Many of the cases in the U.S. in 2014 were associated with cases brought in from the Philippines, which experienced a large measles outbreak.
Maintenance of Elimination
The declaration of endemic measles elimination in the United States was made in 2000. The key challenges to maintaining the elimination of measles from the United States are ● vaccinating children at age 12–15 months with a first dose of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine; ● ensuring that school-age children receive a second dose of MMR vaccine; ● vaccinating high-risk groups, such as health care personnel and international travelers including infants 6 to 11 months of age; ● maintaining measles awareness; and ● working with U.S. Government agencies and international agencies, including the WHO, on global measles mortality reduction and elimination goals.
According to the latest information released by the Connecticut Department of Public Health, “A disease outbreak is less likely to occur at schools where high numbers of students are immunized. Known as Herd Immunity, when almost all the children have immunity, a disease is much less likely to appear at the school and infect children who have not been vaccinated...This is especially important for medically fragile children. Some children have conditions that affect their immunity, including illnesses that require chemotherapy or drugs that suppress their immune systems. These children cannot be safely vaccinated, and at the same time, they are less able to fight off illness when they are infected.”
MMR Vaccine: Parent Information
The best way to protect against measles is to get the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. For prevention of measles, two doses of MMR vaccine are recommended routinely for children, with the first dose at age 12 through 15 months and the second dose at ages four through six years (school entry). The MMR shot:
- Protects your child from measles, a potentially serious disease, as well as mumps and rubella.
- Prevents your child from getting an uncomfortable rash and high fever from measles.
- Keeps your child from missing school or child care (and keeps you from missing work to care for your sick child).
What are the side effects? Most children don’t have any side effects. The side effects that do occur are usually very mild, such as a fever, rash, soreness or swelling where the shot was given, or temporary pain and stiffness in the joints.
Is there a link between the MMR vaccine and autism? No. Scientists in the United States and other countries have carefully studied the MMR shot. None has found a link between autism and the MMR shot.
For prevention of measles among adults, two doses of MMR vaccine are also recommended for adults at high risk, including international travelers, college and other post-high school students, and health care personnel. All other adults, born during or after 1957, without other presumptive evidence of measles immunity, should be vaccinated with one dose of MMR vaccine. Children 6–11 months of age who travel internationally should receive one dose of MMR vaccine optimally at least two weeks prior to travel.
Mobile Dentist by Community Health Center
The School-Based Mobile Dental Program is offered here at Westbrook Public Schools for the benefit of the students.
In-School Services Provided
- Oral Health Education
The following fees/charges apply to Community Health Center, Inc.’s Mobile Dental Program:
- For patients enrolled in HUSKY/Medicaid, services are 100% covered through Husky/Medicaid with no additional fees or charges.
- For patients with private dental insurance, services are billed to insurance. Patient/Family is responsible for any deductible and/or co-pay.
- For patients with no dental insurance the following fees apply:
- $30 for Dental Hygiene visit (cleaning, x-rays, fluoride)
- $18 per visit for exam by the Dentist
- $25 per visit for sealants
Enrollment is accepted year around, and once enrolled it remains active until high school graduation.
In fact, if you move to another town where CHC provides school-based services, your enrollment will continue.
To begin receiving services, please go to www.SBHC1.com to sign up quickly and easily online!
Or print and complete the enrollment form found here. Please note all parts of this registration/enrollment form must be completed, signed and returned to the School Nurse or the School Main Office before your child can receive services:
Download the form in English or in Spanish
For further information on getting a student enrolled or to un-enroll a student please contact:
Middlesex, New London & Meriden Areas
(860) 347-6971 ext. 5163
Student Illness Guidelines
Students will be automatically dismissed for:
- Vomiting or Diarrhea
- Temperature of 100.0 or above
- Suspected/Confirmed conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Or at the discretion of the nurse
If dismissed for fever, diarrhea, and fever, the student must remain out of school until they are symptom free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication to suppress symptoms.
If the student is dismissed for suspected conjunctivitis (pink eye), the nurse may require a doctor's note in order to return to school.
If the student is diagnosed with conjunctivitis (pink eye), the student must remain out of school until they have completed a full 24 hours of antibiotic medication.
If lice are discovered, the student may return to school only after confirmation of hair treatment is completed, every viable nit is removed, and the nurse has assessed the student to verify the student is free of lice/nits.
Health Office Information
- A comprehensive physical (blue form) is required by the board of education and Connecticut state law during the 6th grade and 10th grade. Physicals need to include vision, hearing, and postural screening and immunization records. They should also include the oral health assessment. Without this physcial, your child will not be allowed to move on to the next grade.
- If your child is planning on playing a sport, an updated physical must be on file in the health office. Sports physicals are valid for 13 months and need to be received prior to any participation including tryouts. Bridge notes will not be accepted per CIAC rules.
- All students entering Westbrook Public Schools must show proof of receiving the following immunizations:
- DPT/DTaP/Td (tetnus) - At least 4 doses
- Polio - At least 3 doses
- MMR - 2 doses
- Varicella 2 doses
- Hepatitis B - 3 doses
- Hepatitis A - 2 doses (Grades 5-6)
- Tdap - 1 dose (Grades 7-12)
- Meningococcal - 1 dose (Grades 7-12)
Only exceptions allowed are for religious and medical exemption. Medical exemptions need documentation from the doctor. Religious exemption forms need to be notarized. Documentation must be provided to the health office.
- Routine health screenings will be conducted by the nurse yearly:
- Hearing Screening: 5th Grade
- Vision Screening: 5th Grade
- Scoliosis/Postural: 5th and 7th Grade Females; 8th Grade Males
- 6th and 10th graders should receive their screenings at their required comprehensive physical exam.
Accommodations and Medications:
- The nurse can administer over the counter and prescription medication ONLY with an order from the physician and signed parental permission. The form must be complete and include the following:
- Provider order and written authorization to administer medication
- Parental written authorization to administer medication
- If the student will be self-administering, the form must be checked and signed by the provider and parent
- Medication must be in the original container with the pharmacy label and have a current expiration date.
- Middle school and high school students may receive Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Zyrtec with just signed parental permission. If you would like your child to be able to take these medications at school, please fill out the Authorization to administer non-aspirin medication on the Annual Health Report Update Form.
- The parent/guardian is responsible for forwarding any treatment plans (Asthma Action Plan, Allergy Plan, Diabetic Plan, etc) and doctor orders to the nurse.
- All medication authorization needs to be updated annually. All forms can be found on the website.
- If your child requires any accommodation at school, please send in a note with instructions from the health care provider.
- If your child is out sick or will not be in school for any reason, please call the main office every day they are out prior to 8:00 am.
- After 9 absences, appropriate documentation is required for any and all subsequent absence.
- Please have your child eat breakfast and pack healthy snacks for school. The school does offer breakfast service and reduced pricing is available to those that qualify. Students who do not eat breakfast feel tired, dizzy, and have poor concentration. Breakfast improves school performance and increases focus.
- Please notify the nurse of any health updates throughout the year. If there is any significant medical history you would like the nurse to be aware of please feel free to contact me.