Illness & Injury

Absences and Excuses

All absences require a note from the parent/guardian stating the reason for the absence. Absences due to illness that are 3 or more consecutive school days require an absence note documenting the reason for absence and the dates of absence from a medical doctor or other licensed health care provider who is providing ongoing care for the child. Please contact the School Nurse if your child has an illness or health condition that may affect attendance at school or if an illness results in prolonged absence. If you believe your child has a disability that may require aids, services or accommodations, please contact the School Nurse or School Counselor for assistance.

Homebound Instruction

Students may be eligible for homebound instruction when the physician requires confinement to home or hospital for an extended period of time. Please contact your child's School Counselor, School Nurse or Principal if you think that your child may be eligible for homebound services.

Physical Education Excuses

All students are required by law to participate in physical education unless excused because of ill health or a physical disability. A note from the licensed health care provider providing ongoing care is required for a medical excuse. The licensed provider must state the diagnosis, extent of limitation of activity and the period of time needed for recovery.

Transporting Ill and Injured Students

Transportation of ill or injured students is the responsibility of the parent/guardian. It is important to make sure that the Student Emergency Contact Information updated each year by the parent/guardian contains accurate phone numbers for parent/guardians and other emergency contacts in the event the parent/guardian is not available. The parent/guardian will be contacted to provide or arrange for transportation if the ill or injured student must leave school. The parent/guardian will also be asked to arrange for transportation of a student who has driven himself/herself to school, but in the judgment of the School Nurse is unable to drive home safely. Students are not permitted to transport other ill or injured students. In case of a serious illness or injury and when deemed necessary by the School Nurse or other school staff, the 911 communication system will be utilized and your child will be transported to the emergency room via ambulance. We will communicate a choice of hospitals at your request however the 911 emergency responder system ultimately determines the receiving hospital. The ambulance fee is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

First Aid and Emergency Care

School Nurses (or the Principal's designee in the nurse's absence) will provide first aid and emergency care for students who become ill or injured during the school day. If your child is too ill to remain in school, parents will be expected to make arrangements to pick up the student in a timely fashion. For the health and comfort of your child, please make sure that Student Emergency Contact Information is updated to include designated emergency contacts who are local and available during the school day in the event that parent/guardian cannot be reached.

When to Keep Your Child at Home

It is important to maintain a healthy environment in the classroom to protect all students. The following symptoms may indicate contagious illness. Your child should be kept at home if any of these occur:

  • Fever of 100 degrees or more within the past 24 hours
  • Rash (unless determined to be non-communicable by physician)
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea within the past 24 hours
  • Yellow or green drainage from the eyes or nose
  • Excessive coughing

Chickenpox: The student may return to school no less than six days after the last crop of vesicles and vesicles must be completely crusted.

Pertussis: Students may return to school no less than 5 days after starting prescribed antibiotic treatment.

The student experiencing any of the contagious conditions listed below will be readmitted to school after 24-48 hours of appropriate therapy per guidelines of the Department of Health.

  • Strep throat, scarlet fever
  • Impetigo and other skin infections including MRSA
  • Ringworm
  • Pinworm
  • Conjunctivitis (pinkeye).

A note from the appropriate licensed health care provider is required to return to school after hepatitis (communicable forms) and meningitis and may be required for other illnesses at the discretion of the School Nurse or the Department of Health.

Head lice (pediculosis): Students may return when appropriately treated as determined by the School Nurse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other national health agencies do not recommend “no nit” polices for schools and have found them unexxcary and ineffective for a condition that poses no health risk. However since no pediculocide is 100% effective, removal of nits is important in preventing infestation. It is important for parents/guardians to ensure that nits are removed after a child is treated for head lice. Please notify the School Nurse if your child has been treated for head lice. It is advisable for parents to check their child's hair for head lice weekly. Links to information about head lice are located in the resources section.

Fifth disease: Children with fifth disease are not excluded from school however parents should notify School Nurse

The Lower Merion School District complies with the guidance and directives of the Montgomery County and Pennsylvania Departments of Health in matters of communicable illness and public health. The Departments of Health can require exclusion of children from school if they pose a threat to the health of others. Additionally they may require exclusion of unimmunized children if there is an outbreak of communicable illness.