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The Nurse's Page

Katie Bijas NurseHi! I’m Ms. Kathleen Bijas the nurse at Benway School!

My goal is to keep your child safe and promote a healthy lifestyle and learning environment! In order to achieve that goal I need your help. The most important thing I need you to do is fill out the Emergency Packet we send home every year. You will be able to access, download, and print the Emergency packet on this site, as well as other necessary documents. This packet is required for your child to attend school and gives emergency contacts and necessary health information we need to have in case of an emergency. The emergency packet asks many important questions about your child’s health like whether or not they have asthma. If your child has asthma, allergies requiring an Epi-pen, or plans on playing sports you will find information and links later in their designated sections.

Nursing Services

As part of our nursing services plan I do health screenings including vision, hearing, height, weight, blood pressure,( BMI) Body Mass Index, and scoliosis. I send home referrals for anyone who may need to follow up with their physician for abnormal findings. The health office also brings in outside services to help your child like the NJ SMILES program, which provides dental screenings, x-rays, cleanings, and fluoride treatments. The dentists with NJ SMILES program also send home report cards on the exam and can set you up with a local dental clinic for follow up treatment of any cavities or other dental issues.

Health Policies

It is Benway’s policy that if your child has symptoms of an illness that may be spread such as a fever, diarrhea or vomiting that you keep them home until they have not had any symptoms for 24 hours, without the use of medications.

Is Your Child Too Sick To Go To School?

Early in the morning it is often difficult to make a decision about whether your child is sick enough to stay home from school. The main reasons for keeping your child home are:

  • If he/she is too sick to be comfortable at school.
  • If he/she might spread a contagious illness to other children.
  • The School Doctor states that you should keep your child home if there is:
  • A fever of 100* and above.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • A very frequent, persistent cough.
  • Persistent pain (ear, stomach, head, etc.) or irritability.
  • An unidentified rash.
  • Redness to the eye(s), esp. with crusting and drainage.
  • A persistent sore throat, especially with a fever, stomachache or swollen glands.
  • A discharge from the nose or ear (green or yellow).

Children may return to school when:

  • Fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
  • Free of vomiting for 24 hours and be able to hold down fluids and food without medications.
  • Free of diarrhea for 24 hours without medications.
  • The doctor has identified the cause of the cough and treatment has been started and a note from the doctor stating such would be helpful
  • Cause of pain identified and treated.
  • A rash has been identified and treated need doctors note stating the diagnosis and treatment. Treatment should be in progress for 24 hours before returning. If rash is not contagious, may return immediately with a doctors note.
  • The cause of eye problem has been identified and if needed, treatment started. If antibiotics have been prescribed, a 24 hour course of treatment must be completed before returning and a doctors note is required
  • The doctor confirms reason for sore throat. If Strep throat has been diagnosed, a 24 hour course of antibiotics must be completed and doctors’ note upon return.

Illnesses can be easily spread to others. Some means of transmission are direct contact, contact with a contaminated objects, and airborne droplets. Keep in mind that hand washing is the single most important thing you can do, and teach your child to do, to help prevent the spread of infections. A suggestion for you: provide your child with individual hand wipes for use at lunch. Bringing a child to school with the above symptoms puts the other children and staff at risk of getting sick. Please remember that your child’s resistance to infection is lower than usual when ill.   Please let the school know of any contagious illnesses, so that we may send out notices to the parents and staff.

Please contact the school nurse if you have any question or concerns.

Yearly check up’s with your child’s doctor

I highly encourage that every student have a physical from their pediatrician every year. Summer is a great time to keep track of their health and also address any concerns or necessary paperwork for the new school year. All the forms the doctor may need to fill out are available here for download like; The Asthma Action Form and The Preparticipation Physical Assessment for athletes, which will be discussed later on this page. If your child needs medication to be given in school have their doctor fill out the medication administration forms. Your doctor can also fill out an Over- The- Counter (OTC) medication administration form giving permission for your child to receive medications like Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Tylenol, Tums, Pepto-Bismol or cough drops. The medication administration form and OTC form are part of the Emergency Packet. If your child has Asthma download the Asthma Action Plan and have the doctor fill it out before the next school year and send it in with an inhaler. Asthma Action Plan ( English & Spanish)-

If your child has any allergies that may be life threatening and require the use of an epi-pen please download the form and have your doctor fill it out and send it in with an epi-pen. Anaphylaxis Emergency Action Plan:Anaphylaxis Emergency Action Plan

Seeing your doctor over the summer is also a great time to make sure all your child’s vaccinations are up to date. At age 11 or 6th grade your child must have a Tdap ( Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Vaccine) and a Meningococcal Vaccine to prevent Meningitis. Please vaccines must be given before the school year starts! Information on Meningococcal Meningitis can be found here - Meningococcal Meningitis Fact Sheet
The doctor may also want to discuss the HPV vaccine with you. This vaccination is not required to attend school but is recommended by the CDC. Information on HPV can be found here - HPV Factsheet

Sports Physicals or Preparticipation Physical Evaluation (PPE)

The law requires that the PPE or Pre-participation Physical Evaluation be completed prior to the first official practice session of the athletic season.
Here is a link to the Fact sheet on the PPE and its requirements. You may want to have your child’s physician complete this before school year or before the athletic season begins as your doctor knows your child best. We also offer sports physicals by our school physician if you cannot make it to your own doctor but the first page of the PPE about your child’s health history must be completed by you prior to the school physician examining them.

Annual Athletic Preparticipation Physical Evaluation (PPE)

( Get It In English) ( Get It In Spanish)
The new legislation requires that if a student’s PPE was completed more than 90 days prior to the first day of official practice in an athletic season that an updated health history is required, here is the link
There are risks involved with children participating in sports, including concussions, eye injuries, and sudden cardiac death. The next section includes information and resources on these risks.
It is required by law that you read and sign the sign off sheet of the Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Athletes pamphlet as well as the Concussion packet in order for your child to participate in sports.

The Basic Facts on Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Athletes English Version or Spanish Version. After reading the Sudden Cardiac Death pamphlet please sign the sign off sheet and return Get the Sign Off Sheet

Sports-related Concussion and Head Injury Fact Sheet- *Read sign and Return
Sports Related Eye Injury Education Get It Here