Trina Howells BSN, RN, CSN

St. Philips School 412-928-2742

Physical and Dental Exams

The Pennsylvania Department of Health mandates that all school students receive regular physical and dental examinations. The requirements are as follows:


Medication Given at School

Per Pennsylvania State Law, all medications, prescription and over-the-counter, must have a doctor's order and parent/guardian signature to be given at school.

Medication Administration Form

Mandated Health Screenings



The following screenings are mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. These are considered screenings and are not to be a substitute for regular checkups with your pediatrician. School nurses perform the following screenings.


Height and Weight (BMI)

Checked annually in K through grade 12. The state mandated BMI (Body Mass Index) screening program has also been implemented for grades K–12.



Checked annually in K through grade 12. If you have a concern, suspect a visual problem, or your child has an existing visual condition you would like to discuss contact the school nurse at your child's school. If a student does not pass the visual screening a referral notice will be sent home.



Checked in K, 1, 2, 3, 7, and 11. If you have a concern, suspect a hearing problem, or would like to discuss an existing hearing problem with the school nurse please call our office. If a student does not pass the hearing screening a referral will be sent home.



Screening is mandated for students in grades 6 and 7. The 6th grade scoliosis screening is generally done as part of the required 6th grade physical examination done either by your private pediatrician or, if requested, by our school physician. If a student does not pass the scoliosis screening a referral notice will be sent home.


Physical Examinations

Required for students entering K, 6th, and 11th grades. Be aware that your 6th grade student should have the Tdap and meningitis immunizations completed and documented on their 6th grade physical form. Always make a copy of completed physical exam forms for your own personal records. You will be notified when the school physician will be performing the physical examination at school. Only those students with written parental permission will be examined by the school physician.


Dental Examination

Required of students in grades K, 3, and 7. You will be notified when the school dentist will be performing the dental examination at school. Only those students with written parental permission will be examined by the school dentist. Please print and take along this dental form if you chose to see your private dentist.


What does a referral mean? If you received a referral form after any school screening or examination, it means that the screening or examination detected a possible problem and further evaluation by a professional health care provider is recommended. The referral form is to be completed by your private health care provider and returned to the school nurse.

When to Keep Your Child Home

 A problem parents commonly face is when to keep a child home from school if he/she complains of not feeling well. Use the following guidelines until your health care provider can be contacted. If your child does stay home from school, please print the Absence From School Form and send in with your child when they return to school. Students are allowed to miss a total of 10 days for the entire school year. Excuses are due within 3 days of returning to school, if no excuse is turned in, that day will remain as unexcused. The only excuse accepted after the 10th day will be from a medical practitioner.

 Children should be kept at home if any of the following conditions are present:

  •  Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater within the past 24 hours
  • Vomiting within the past 24 hours
  • Diarrhea within the past 24 hours
  • Undiagnosed skin rashes /skin infections
  • A communicable disease
  • Head lice
  • Persistent sore throat along with loss of voice, difficulty swallowing and/or rash
  • Severe headache, toothache, or ear pain
  • Stiff neck or headache with fever
  • Abdominal pain with low grade fever
  • Eyes that are painful, red, and matted

A child may return to school after a contagious disease or infection when:

  • Chicken pox - When all blisters have formed scabs
  • Conjunctivitis - When eyes are clear and have been treated with antibiotics for 24 hours
  • Scabies - 24 hours after start of treatment
  • Strep throat or scarlet fever - 24 hours after start of treatment
  • Impetigo - When skin is clear or child has been under treatment for 24 hours
  • Head lice - When head is treated and free of lice 

Sometimes children may decide they feel sick on the morning of a big test or following a fight with a friend. True, at first you should always take your child's complaints seriously. But if you notice a continuing pattern it is always helpful to speak with your child's teachers, counselor, and of course the school nurse. Often these people have valuable insights into your child's experience at Carlynton.

When in doubt, please contact your child's pediatrician.

Head Lice

Please check your child’s hair periodically to keep lice breakouts at a minimum.


Watch for signs of head lice, such as frequent head scratching. Anyone can get head lice. This mainly occurs by head to head contact, but also from sharing personal items such as hats and brushes.


Check all family members for lice and their eggs (nits). Lice are reddish-brown wingless insects. Nits are smooth, grayish-white ovals glued to the hair, usually near the scalp. They are most commonly found behind the ears, at the nape of the neck and the center line of the crown. Be sure not to confuse nits with hair debris, which is white, irregularly shaped and easily dislodged. Purchase over-the-counter treatment product for head lice such as Rid or Nix or contact your doctor for a prescription treatment. Lice-killing products are pesticides and must be used with caution. Follow package directions carefully. Usually it is recommended that the treatment be repeated in 7-10 days. DO NOT over-treat. If you need further assistance, The Center for Lice Removal is a great resource.


Remove all nits. Because lice shampoo is not 100% effective, reinfestation may occur if nits are allowed to remain in the hair. Nits do not fall out with the shampoo treatment. They are glued to the hair. A rinse of vinegar or an over-the-counter nit remover such as Clear may be helpful. Nit removal is a long, time consuming process. Use a strong light and magnifying glass. Separate hair into small sections and work on one section at a time. Start as close to the scalp as possible. Remove all attached nits with a fine tooth comb or your thumb and index finger, sliding each egg off the hair.


Wash bedding and recently worn clothing in hot water and dry in hot dryer for at least 20 minutes.Combs and brushes may be soaked in hot water (at least 130 degrees) for 10 min.


Avoid lice sprays. Vacuuming is the safest and best way to remove lice from upholstered furniture, rugs, and car seats. Throw the vacuum bag away when you are finished if applicable. Stuffed animals, etc. may be sealed in a plastic bag for at least 2 weeks to kill lice.


Please remind your child not to share combs, brushes, hats towels, headphones, etc. If you find your child has head lice, please notify the school, daycare, etc. immediately.


No child who has head lice or nits may return to school until seen by the school nurse and judged to be non-infective. This may be the morning following treatment if all steps have been completed. It is required that a child be free of ALL nits before returning to school. Please accompany your child to school to be rechecked.


Please visit the CDC website for the latest guidelines regarding COVID-19