Falmouth Elementary School has two certified school nurses.
207-347-3152, fax 207-781-1023
Kellie Schimelman RN firstname.lastname@example.org (full school day)
Grades PreK - 2 paperwork and chronic health conditions
Lindsay Wissink RN email@example.com (full school day)
Grades 3 - 5 paperwork and chronic health conditions
We recommend you program your cell phone to recognize this phone number as the FES nurse. If your email contains information that a nurse should be aware of first thing in the morning, please copy both nurses.
- General Illness Guidelines
- FES Food Safety Guidelines
- FES Guidelines for Food Allergies
- Sleep In School-Aged Children (6-12 years old)
Students who become ill during the school day will be assessed by the school nurse and receive appropriate care and supervision in the nurse’s office. The school nurse will dismiss the student only after a parent or other designated emergency contact has been informed. In accordance with Maine Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, a child should not attend school if he/she exhibits one or more of the following symptoms or infections:
- Fever – fever is defined as having a temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher.
- Diarrhea – watery, foul-smelling, runny and/or bloody stools. Should be free from diarrhea episodes for 24 hours before returning to school.
- Vomiting – in the last 24-hour period.
- Rash – an unexplained rash with fever or behavioral change. Child can return to school if a physician has determined the illness is not communicable and fever is gone.
- Bacterial infections requiring antibiotics. If your child is placed on antibiotics for any kind of infection please consult school nurse for return to school recommendations.
Students with these symptoms cannot comfortably participate in program activities and unnecessarily expose others to their illnesses. Students should be fever-free without the aid of fever-reducing medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for 24 hours before returning to school.
FES does not allow parents/caregivers to provide outside food and beverages for any other student but their own. This includes: packaged/wrapped snacks or treats intended to be brought home, bringing in treats to share with friends, or any food/beverage brought in for any other reason. Outside food can adversely impact students with diabetes, gluten intolerance, severe food allergies, or other health-related issues. Some families choose to limit processed foods or foods with dyes and other additives. If you would like to recognize your child’s birthday, please reach out to their classroom teacher.
Occasionally, teachers may choose to provide food for students. This includes tasting at district garden spaces. Teachers must give 48 hours advance notice, including ingredients, to parents/caregivers when food will be included in the school day. Teachers will work with families to provide an alternate and safe option for those students with food-related health issues. Thank you for helping keep all of our students safe at school.
A food allergy is an immune system response to a food that the body mistakenly believes is harmful. Reactions to the allergen range from mild to severe and can be life-threatening. For some individuals, symptoms may develop when the food comes into contact with their skin, or after smelling the vapors of the food. Ingestion of the allergenic food is not necessary for some highly sensitive individuals. Avoidance is the only way to prevent an allergic reaction.
The first goal of the Falmouth School District is to try to the best of our ability to avoid the allergic child’s exposure to the offending food. The second goal is to have an emergency plan in place if an accidental exposure occurs. This plan will provide for immediate treatment and medical support to prevent progressive symptoms, stabilize the individual, and provide for the necessary transport to a hospital. The parents of any food-allergic student are the experts about that child’s allergy. The school will work in partnership with the child’s parents, physician and the student who has food allergies to develop a plan to ensure the safety of each student.
School Wide Prevention Plan - The school will assure that all staff that interacts with the student on a regular basis understand food allergies, can recognize symptoms, and know what to do in an emergency. These staff members will include (but are not limited to) classroom teachers, recess aides, cafeteria aides and bus drivers.
Nurse’s Office - Epipens and other emergency medication will be stored in an organized fashion in the nurse’s office. Emergency action plans will be kept on file and updated annually.
In the classroom - A nut-restricted classroom will be provided for students with peanut and/or nut allergies (if the parent deems it necessary). A notice will go home at the beginning of the school year informing parents that no snacks with nuts will be allowed in designated classrooms. Students are not allowed to share snacks with each other. After eating snack classroom tables will be wiped down. Parents of food allergic children will be informed if any food items will be in the classroom for special occasions. Students are encouraged to wash their hands frequently throughout the day in addition to after eating. Classroom teachers will ensure that information about the food-allergic student is available in the substitute folder.
In the cafeteria - A nut-restricted area will be provided for students with nut allergies. The school nurse and the principal will determine this area. This area will be monitored by an adult and thoroughly cleaned before lunch seatings. Names and pictures of food allergic students will be posted in the food preparation office, and allergy alerts will be flagged on the computer system. Peanut butter and other nuts will not be served in the Falmouth Elementary cafeteria; however, students can bring peanut butter from home to eat at lunchtime.
On field trips - The teacher and the parent of an allergy student will review plans for field trips when indicated. The teacher / designated adult will be responsible for emergency medications and action plans during a field trip.
Emergency Action Plan - The school will have an Individual Emergency Action Plan available in the nurse’s office for those students with known serious allergies. This form will be updated annually and cosigned by the parent and physician. The plan will include medications to be administered, physician’s name and emergency contact numbers. In the event of accidental exposure, the school nurse should be notified immediately. The school nurse will assess symptoms of food allergy and administer emergency medications if necessary as directed in the emergency action plan. Rescue will be called and the parent will be notified in that order. If the accidental exposure occurs outside of school or the nurse is not immediately available the attending trained staff person will follow the emergency action plan.
Family Guidelines For Managing Students with Food Allergies
- Notify us of all of your child’s allergies and their treatments.
- Provide the above written medical documentation, instructions and medications as directed by a physician.
- Send in to your child’s teacher some safe food substitutions for your child to eat when food is brought into the classroom for special occasions.
- Identify to your child what foods are “safe and unsafe”.
- Explain to your child to immediately tell an adult if they are experiencing an allergic reaction.
- Tell your child not to trade or share snacks with other children.
- Tell your child not to eat any food that has not been identified as safe.
- Review food allergies and emergency plan with your child’s teachers, school nurse, bus driver, and coaches. This may include training them how to give an Epi-Pen.
- Review the cafeteria menu to be sure the foods offered are safe for your child.
Call the Food Service Program Director at 207-781-7429 for any questions you may have concerning menu ingredients.
What to expect
School-aged children need between 10 and 11 hours of sleep per night. Not getting enough sleep is common in this age group, given increasing school obligations (e.g. homework), evening activities, and later bedtimes. Sleep problems are also common in school-aged children, including sleepwalking, sleep terrors, teeth grinding, nighttime fears, snoring, and noisy breathing.
Signs of sleep deprivation in school-aged children can include:
- Mood. Sleep deprivation may cause your school-aged child to be moody, irritable, and cranky. In addition, he may have a difficult time regulating his mood, such as by getting frustrated or upset more easily.
- Behavior. School-aged children who do not get enough sleep are more likely to have behavior problems, such as noncompliance and hyperactivity.
- Cognitive ability. Inadequate sleep may result in problems with attention, memory, decision making, reaction time, and creativity, all which are important in school.
How to help your school-aged child sleep well
- Develop a regular sleep schedule. Your child should go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day.
- Maintain a consistent bedtime routine. School-aged children continue to benefit from a bedtime routine that is the same every night and includes calm and enjoyable activities. Including one-on-one time with a parent is helpful in maintaining communication with your child and having a clear connection every day.
- Set up a soothing sleep environment. Make sure your child’s bedroom is comfortable, dark, cool, and quiet. A nightlight is fine; a television is not.
- Set limits. If your school-aged child stalls at bedtime, be sure to set clear limits, such as what time lights must be turned off and how many bedtime stories you will read.
- Turn off televisions, computers, and radios. Television viewing, computer-game playing, internet use, and other stimulating activities at bedtime will cause sleep problems.
- Avoid caffeine. Caffeine can be found in sodas, coffee-based products, iced tea, and many other substances.
- Contact your child’s doctor. Speak to your child’s physician if your child has difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, snores, experiences unusual awakenings, or has sleep problems that are causing disruption during the day.
From: Mindell JA & Owens JA (2003). A Clinical Guide to Pediatric Sleep: Diagnosis and Management of Sleep Problems. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Anaphylaxis Action Plan (Non-Food Allergy)
Asthma - School Plan
Food Allergy Action Plan
Immunization Exemption - Medical
Medical Immunization Exemption Form
Medication Permission (to be given by School Personnel)
Medication Permission (Student to self-administer)
Release of Information Authorization Form
It is the Falmouth School Department’s policy that medications are given at home whenever it is medically feasible. In exceptional cases when the child needs the medication in order to be in school, the prescribing physician can order it during school hours. This policy was developed with the safety of your child in mind.
If medication is necessary the following policy must be followed:
1. Medication will be sent in the original bottle.
2. Written instructions with the following information:
- Name of child
- Name of medication
- Reason for medication
- Time to be administered
- Possible side effects
- Termination date of medication
3. Parents will provide a signed informed consent.
4. Parents will provide a signed informed consent from the prescribing physician. Download the form for parental and physician signature.
5. Parents must bring controlled substances to the health room.
6. Parents will be responsible for informing the school nurse of any medication change.
7. Medication will be stored in a secure space in the health room.
8. Students cannot carry or self administer any medication at school except for inhalers, epipens, and insulin. In order to carry these medications, the student must first meet with the school nurse to review the administration of the medication in a manner directed by the physician. The student must be able to assess their medical need for the medication and understand any necessary follow up post administration. Download the form for medication self-administration.
This medication policy applies to all prescription and most over-the-counter medications including cough syrups, ointments and inhalers. Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen can be administered with a parent note. Note: All attempts will be made to administer medication within thirty minutes of the scheduled time. Parents will be notified of any deviation to this schedule. If you have any questions, please contact your School Nurse .
Maine School Immunization Laws require that all students produce an acceptable record/certificate of immunization or provide a written medical exemption to immunization. Immunization exemptions must be updated annually. The immunization dosage requirements upon entry into school are as follows:
- 5 Doses of any DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) containing vaccine, or 4 if the fourth dose is given on or after the 4th birthday.
- 4 Doses of OPV/IPV (Polio), or 3 if the third dose is given on or after the 4th birthday.
- 2 Doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), #1 no sooner than 12 months of age, #2 at least 4 weeks after #1.
- 2 Dose of Varicella (chickenpox) or documented history of the disease by a health care provider or laboratory evidence demonstrating immunity.
** 7th graders now require a Tdap booster and MCV4 vaccine (please see information below)
**12th graders now require two doses of MCV4 vaccine.
If the first dose of meningococcal vaccine was administered on or after the 16th birthday, a second dose is not required (please see information below for details).
Non-immunized students shall not be permitted to attend school or school activities unless one of the following conditions is met:
- The parents/guardians provide the school written assurance that the child will be immunized within 90 days of enrolling in school or his/her first attendance in classes, whichever date is earlier. This option is available only once to each student during their school career; or
- The parents/guardians provide a physician’s written statement each year that immunization against one or more diseases may be medically inadvisable (as defined by law/regulation); download the medical immunization exemption form; or
For further questions, please contact the Maine Immunization Program at 207-287-3746 or 800-867-4775 or by email at ImmunizeME.DHHS@maine.gov
As we strive to keep everyone healthy this school year, it it important that students and adults who are sick not go to school, work, or social activities. The following checklist can help determine if someone has influenza-like illness (ILI)
Flu Symptom Checklist for Families
Does your child have a fever of 100 degrees of more?
Does your child have a cough?
Does your child have a sore throat?
Should I keep my child home?
If you answered yes to:
Fever of 100 degrees or more
A cough or a sore throat
then your child has an influenza-like illness. Keep your child home for 24 hours after the fever resolves without the use of medication.
If you checked yes to only one of the questions above, or if your child is ill with other symptoms, keep your child at home at least one day to observe for additional symptoms. If additional symptoms develop, use the checklist questions again to decide whether to continue to keep the child home.
When should my child go to the doctor?
Call your doctor or seek medical care if your child has trouble breathing or has behavior changes including changes in eating or drinking habits. Call your health care provider if your child is ill enough that you would normally seek health care advice.
For more information please visit www.maineflu.gov.
Identification: Head lice are tiny wingless insects that attach to a person's hair, where it feeds on extremely small amounts of blood from the scalp. Signs and symptoms include severe itching of the scalp and the presence of nits or lice. To determine if your child has head lice you need to check their hair and scalp in good light. Use of a comb or applicator sticks to separate the hair is also helpful. Nits (Eggs) may look like dandruff but they do not brush or flake off since they are cemented to the hair. They are tiny oval specks of grey or yellow-white attached to the hair shaft. Often you will find them behind the ear and at the nape of the neck. The louse is harder to detect. They are only 1-3 mm long, are grayish-white to reddish-brown and can move quickly in the hair. They do not fly, hop or jump. They do not live on animals, just humans. Lice are not dangerous and do not spread disease.
Treatment: Permethrin 1% (Nix) is currently the recommended treatment of choice by the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) for newly diagnosed cases of head lice. After treatment, remove the nits with a comb (see next paragraph). Wash bedding and clothing in hot water and dry in a hot dryer. Vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture. Those items that cannot be laundered (including stuffed animals) should be sealed in a plastic bag for 10 days. Continue checking your child’s head daily for a few weeks.
Although eliminating lice from your home is essential, the most important thing a parent can do is comb the hair after treatment. A special metal comb designed specifically to help remove lice and nits from the hair shaft is essential. Plastic combs are too flimsy and often break. Metal combs come into contact with nits and lice that are so tiny you may not be able to see them. The most highly recommended lice combs are the Licemeister, the Terminator and the Dual sided lice comb. Daily combing of the hair will allow you to greatly reduce the risk of reinfestation. The Robi Comb is another type of comb. It is an electronic comb used to detect and kill head lice. Robi Comb destroys lice on contact simply by combing it through dry hair. When the electronic Robi Comb touches lice, they get zapped, die and are combed out of the hair.
Other treatment: Occasionally head lice are resistant to Nix or other pediculicides. If some live lice are still found 8-12 hours after treatment but are moving more slowly than before, do not retreat. Comb dead and remaining live lice out of the hair. The medicine sometimes takes longer to kill the lice. If no dead lice are found 8-12 hours after treatment and lice seem as active as before, the medicine may not be working. Contact your healthcare provider for a different medication and follow their treatment instructions. Over the last few years, new treatments such as Sklice, and Natroba have become available. They all have different compounds and mechanisms which will lead to what's called redundant killing, where if one compound doesn't do the job, the other compound will. In addition, the new drugs typically are easier to apply, only needing one application instead of repeated doses and no nit combing. All are prescription drugs, so insurance coverage will vary depending on the insurance plan.
There are some “natural” methods to try to suffocate head lice that pediatricians recommend. One method is to coat the hair with Cetaphil skin cleanser. Complete directions and more information are found on this Cetaphil link. Another method is to coat the hair with a mixture of mayonnaise, and olive oil, cover the head with a shower cap and leave this on overnight. Wash this oily emulsion out with green Dawn dish detergent and vinegar. Use this treatment 4 nights in a row. After treatment, remove the nits with a comb or your fingernails. A third method is daily combing: Buy a cheap cream rinse and coat the hair from roots to end. Use a Licemeister or similar metal lice comb with 1 and 1/2 inch metal tines to comb out lice and nits thoroughly. Take one section of the hair at a time, pin up the rest and spend a fair amount of time on each section on the first comb-through. (It can take a couple of hours- plug in a DVD.) The lice and eggs will get trapped in the gobs of cream rinse each time the comb goes through the hair- wipe them off and throw into the trash. When finished, wash hair as usual with shampoo. You need to continue to do this daily until you do not find lice or eggs (up to 6 weeks).
Prevention: Avoid head to head contact, do not share combs, brushes, hats, etc. Head lice are frequently spread through sleepovers or sharing of headgear via sports teams. Check your child's head frequently when outbreaks of head lice have been reported.
Please contact the school nurse if you would like further information or guidance regarding head lice treatment. Anyone can get head lice. An infestation does not indicate poor hygiene and is nothing to be ashamed of.
Further Information can be found at:
CDC Head Lice information
Healthy Children resources
Lyme Disease Information
Deer ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. They cling to vegetation in brushy, wooded, or grassy areas and transmit Lyme disease by biting. Both immature ticks (nymphs) and adult ticks can transmit Lyme disease. It is believed that the tick needs to remain attached for at least 24 hours for infection to occur. The immature tick is very small and may not be immediately noticeable on the skin. Not all ticks carry Lyme disease; in fact the common dog tick has not been shown to do so. Even a bite by a deer tick does not mean that Lyme disease will occur.
One symptom of Lyme disease is a red, circular skin rash that occurs at the site of the bite but may spread to other areas. It begins about 7 to 10 days after the bite and gradually enlarges, often with partial clearing in the center so that it resembles a donut. Hives, swelling of the face, redness of the eyes, and flu like symptoms (fever, headache, stiff neck, muscle and joint aches, and fatigue) may also occur.
The only known way to get Lyme disease is from the bite of an infected tick. Avoiding areas where ticks are found and promptly removing attached ticks are the most important preventive measures. People living in or visiting areas where Lyme disease is known to occur should take the following preventive measures:
Don’t walk bare legged in tall grass, woods or dunes where ticks may be found. If you do walk in such areas, wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, high socks (with pants tucked into the socks), and sneakers. Light colors will help you spot ticks on clothing. Apply a commercial tick repellent on clothing, shoes and socks, after reading the label instructions carefully. Avoid applying high concentrations to the skin, particularly of children. Family pets may bring ticks into your house and it is important to discuss tick control for pets with your veterinarian.
Daily tick checks reduce your risk of contracting Lyme disease. Because of their small (poppy seed) size, nymph ticks present the greatest threat. You need to check yourself, your pets, and especially small children DAILY after outdoor activity. When showering or bathing, do a full body inspection for a rash or attached ticks. Remember that the nymph tick is about the size of the head of a straight pin. Pay special attention to checking favorite tick spots, such as backs of knees, groin, waist, armpits, and the scalp. You may be able to feel the tick even if it is too small to see.
To remove an embedded tick, use tweezers to grip its body as close to the skin as possible and pull gently but firmly until the tick lets go. Local pet stores sell a tool called Ticked Off. This simple to use tick remover is very effective at removing ticks safely. For further information visit I have a tick bite, what to do now or Maine CDC page on Lyme Disease. Contact your physician if you have concerns about a tick bite.
Chronic Daily Headaches (CDH)
Headache specialists define CDH as at least 15 days of headache per month, with pain lasting longer than 3 to 4 hours daily, and a total headache duration of more than 3 months.
Internalized emotional stress can produce very real headache. A death of a loved one, abuse (verbal, physical, or sexual), change in school, or family discord can adversely affect a teen's life; when he or she is unable to recognize or cope with the stress, this may manifest as CDH. Students who are high achievers in scholastics or sports may be under immense stress to perform at their best and can develop CDH as a result.
What is your daily routine, and how do you sleep? Generalized stresses on the body can not only alter mood and energy but also trigger headaches. Hunger, dehydration, and lack of sleep are causes of headache that can be prevented. Having teenagers eat 3 balanced meals per day and take adequate hydration is a critical component of headache management. Monitoring caffeine intake is also essential; teenagers, like adults, are prone to caffeine withdrawal or overuse headaches from coffee or soft drinks.
Do you take any medications for your headache? How much and how often? Assessing medication use is the most important step in recognizing underlying causes of primary headache. Worldwide, medication overuse, usually with analgesics, is the most common cause of CDH in adolescents. Using analgesics (eg, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin) or abortive headache medications (eg, sumatriptan, ergots) more than 3 times per week predisposes individuals to medication-overuse headache. Unless these medications are discontinued with a 2- to 4-week washout period, a primary cause of headache cannot be evaluated.
Although these nonpharmacologic approaches might not be the prescription the teen is expecting, failure to implement these interventions is almost a guarantee for continued CDH.
Exercise has a 2-fold benefit: weight reduction in obese patients and improved mood-related symptoms in depressed patients. Learn to work through headache pain. High-impact aerobic activity can exacerbate headache pain; therefore use less rigorous exercises at first, such as walking, yoga, or swimming, which are relaxing and can be adjusted for all levels of physical capabilities.
Treating mood and stress issues. Depression and mood disorders are common problems in this population, and appropriate management with antidepressants or cognitive-based therapies should be employed. Both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments can be helpful in patients with CDH who also have mood disorders. Referral to a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist should be considered if indicated.
Just say no to most drugs! All abortive drugs should be stopped. No exceptions. Medication overuse is seen in up to 50% of children with CDH and may play a causative role in some cases. Once there has been a washout period for analgesic and rescue medications, allowing the patient to use over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen 2 times per week is permissible.