does my child need a physical? School physicals and
immunizations, prior to school entry, are important to
ensure that your child
and the children around them are healthy and that they
have no physical deficiency (growth and development,
hearing, vision, scoliosis) which may prevent learning.
One more important reason, if your child does not have a
school physical, they will not be allowed to attend
school. (Note that a Sports Physical is not the same as
a School Physical.)
Who needs a
school physical? A school physical is required by
the State of Florida for every child entering
kindergarten and any child that will be attending a
Florida school for the first time, regardless of age.
What will the school need for my child’s physical?
The school requires a school physical examination form
that has been completed within the previous 12 months
prior to start of school. The form must be completed and
signed by a health care provider licensed to perform
transferring from another state may have a comparable
school health physical form if completed within one
Where can my child get a school physical? An
appointment can be made at one of the
DeSoto County Health
Department Clinics or your private physician.
When should I schedule my child’s physical? Keep
in mind that you should make your appointment well prior
to school starting because most clinics are very busy
with last minute physicals. Remember, school physicals
can be scheduled and completed within 12 months prior to
the start of school.
How often will my child need a physical? School
physicals are only required the one time for entry into
Florida Schools, but discuss with your health care
provider about additional Well Child Checks that are
beneficial to your child’s growth and development.
Additionally, the school nurse will conduct screenings
within the first semester of the school year for
students enrolled in the 1st, 3rd and 6th grades for
growth and development. (Body Mass Index). Students in
Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd and 6th grades will be screened
for vision deficiencies. Students in Kindergarten, 1st
and 6th grades will be screened for hearing
deficiencies; and 6th graders will also be screened for
scoliosis. These are not physicals and if any
deficiencies are identified during the screenings, a
referral letter will be sent to the parents requesting a
follow up by a licensed medical professional.
Why does my child need immunizations? Immunizations
are very important to protect your child from diseases. Germs
that cause vaccine-preventable diseases and death still
exist and can be passed on to an unvaccinated child or
Additionally, current immunizations are required by the
The Florida Certification of Immunization must be
completed by a Florida physician or a Florida County
Religious Exemptions – If your child has a
religious or medical exemption from being immunized they
will not be allowed to attend school if there is an
outbreak of a disease. This is to protect them from
exposure to the disease.
What Parents Need to Know About Vaccines and
What Would Happen if We Stopped Vaccinations?
What immunizations will my child need for school?
There are different recommended
vaccines for various ages. Always check with
your local school and health care provider.
DeSoto County Public Schools immunization
requirements may be different than other school
Who decides what immunizations my child needs?
Your school’s nurse or your own health care provider can
help you make that decision.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
provides the most current and up to date information on
vaccine preventable diseases.
Immunizations are FREE for all children up to
the age of 18.
can my child get immunized? DeSoto County Health
Department provides an annual immunization clinic at
each of the four middle schools for 6th grade students.
These immunizations are required for your child to enter
7th grade. The school will give permission slips to each
student to bring home and return with their parent’s or
guardian’s signature. Immunizations are also given at
all the DeSoto County Health
Department , other county health departments,
or your private health care provider.
How can I get a copy of my child’s immunization
record? These forms can be obtained at one of the
DeSoto County Health Department Clinics, other county
health departments, or your private physician. Most
immunizations given in Florida will be in the FloridaShots database.
Parents moving to Florida should obtain a copy of their
child’s immunization history before leaving their
current state of residency.
For more information on
DeSoto County Public School requirements you may
want to visit their website.
SCHOOL HEALTH BASED SERVICES
(National Association of School
Role of the School Nurse
The practice of school
nursing began in the United States on October 1, 1902
when the initial role of the school nurse was to reduce
absenteeism by intervening with students and families
regarding health care needs related to communicable
diseases. While the nurse’s role has expanded greatly
from its original focus, the essence of the practice
remains the same. The school nurse supports student
success by providing health care assessment,
intervention, and follow-up for all children within the
school setting. Seven roles of the school nurse have
evolved from this definition.
The school nurse provides direct health care to
students and staff.
nurse provides care to students and staff who have been
injured or who present with acute illnesses. Care may
involve treatment of health problems within the scope of
nursing practice, communication with parents for
treatment, and referral to other providers. The school
nurse uses the nursing process to assess, plan,
implement, and evaluate care for students with chronic
health conditions. This care should begin with the
development of a nursing care plan (also known as an
individualized health care plan) that should include an
emergency action plan. The school nurse is responsible
for medication administration and the performance of
health care procedures that are within the scope of
nursing practice and are ordered by an appropriately
licensed health care provider. The school nurse also
assists faculty and staff in monitoring chronic health
Healthy Children are
The school nurse provides leadership for the
provision of health services.
health care expert within the school, the school nurse
assures that health needs are met. This leadership role
includes developing a plan for responding to emergencies
and disasters and training staff to respond
appropriately. It also involves the appropriate
delegation of care within applicable laws. Delegation to
others involves initial assessment, training, competency
validation, supervision, and evaluation by the school
The school nurse provides screening and referral
for health services.
In order to
address potential health problems that are barriers to
learning or symptoms of underlying medical conditions,
the school nurse often engages in screening activities.
Screening activities may include vision, hearing,
posture, body mass index, or other screenings along with
the availability of resources to assure referral and
The school nurse promotes a healthy school
nurse provides for the physical and emotional safety of
the school community. The school nurse monitors
immunizations, assures appropriate exclusion from and
re-entry into school, and reports communicable diseases
as required by law. The school nurse provides leadership
to the school in implementing precautions for blood
borne pathogens and other infectious diseases. The
school nurse also assesses the physical environment of
the school and takes actions to improve health and
school nurse has a multi-faceted role within
the school setting, one that supports the
physical, mental, and social health of
students and their success in the learning
The school nurse promotes health.
nurse provides health education by providing health
information directly to individual students, groups of
students, or classes or by providing guidance about the
health education curriculum, encouraging comprehensive,
sequential, and age appropriate information. They may
also provide programs to staff, families, and the
community on health topics. Other health promotion
activities may include health fairs for students,
families, or staff, consultation with other school staff
such as food service personnel or physical education
teachers regarding healthy lifestyles, and staff
wellness programs. The school nurse is a member of the
coordinated school health team that promotes the health
and well-being of school members through collaborative
The school nurse serves in a leadership role for
health policies and programs.
health care expert within the school system, the school
nurse takes a leadership role in the development and
evaluation of school health policies. The school nurse
participates in and provides leadership to coordinated
school health programs, crises/disaster management
teams, and school health advisory councils. The school
nurse promotes nursing as a career by discussions with
students as appropriate, role modeling, and serving as a
preceptor for student nurses or as a mentor for others
beginning school nursing practice.
The school nurse serves as a liaison between
school personnel, family, community, and health care
nurse participates as the health expert on
Individualized Education Plan and 504 teams and on
student and family assistance teams. As case manager,
the nurse communicates with the family through telephone
calls, assures them with written communication and home
visits as needed, and serves as a representative of the
school community. The school nurse also communicates
with community health providers and health care agencies
(while ensuring appropriate confidentiality), develops
community partnerships, and serves on community
coalitions to promote the health of the community.
If your child needs
non-prescription or prescription medication at school
you will need to complete an authorization form and
submit it to the nurse at your child’s school. Click the
respective link below for printable version of
Prescription Authorizations Form(.pdf/19kb)
Non-Prescription Authorization Form (.pdf/17kb)
For more info on school
DeSoto County Health
34 South Baldwin Avenue
Arcadia, Florida 34266