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Health Services

Health services are provided in Palo Alto to protect the health and safety of pupils and to identify health problems that may inhibit a child's activities and ability to learn. These services include hearing and vision tests at grades K, 2, and 5. If a pupil is to be exempted from these services due to religious beliefs, the parent must file an exemption card annually. School personnel are required by state law to notify parents when pupils are suspected of having health problems.


TB clearance and immunizations against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, rubella, mumps, and whooping cough are mandatory for school enrollment in any grade unless contrary to the family's religious beliefs. New students transferring into the Palo Alto Unified School District and all first graders are also required to have a full physical examination and return a completed School Health Report.

Student Emergency Card

This card must be on file from the first day of attendance and instructs school personnel as to emergency action and identifies the health needs of your child. If any information changes during the year, make sure you let us know so that names, phone numbers and health information are up-to-date.

Emergency Care, First Aid, and Illness

School personnel are not permitted to render more than immediate first aid. Except in extreme emergencies, parents are contacted before a physician is called. Parents are advised that there is no school nurse on duty at Nixon. In case of sudden illness at school, a child will be kept at the school office only until s/he can be released to the care of a parent or other adult designated on the student's Emergency Card. It is imperative that this card be kept current for the school's use in case of sudden illness or injury to the child.

Contagious Illness

Please do not send your child to school if they display any of the symptoms listed below in order to minimize the spread of illness to students and staff. Remember to notify the school if your child has a contagious illness in case exposure notices need to be distributed:

  • Common cold: keep child home the first few days. Do not send them to school until active coughing, sneezing, and nasal drip are substantially gone, and a fever has not occurred within 24 hours.
  • Fever (children should remain at home until they have been without a fever for over 24 hours)
  • Eyes that are red, swollen, crusty, or draining
  • Pinkeye (conjunctivitis): Consult doctor and begin treatment before child returns to school.
  • Draining ears or an earache
  • Diarrhea - loose, watery bowel movement
  • Severe headache or pain
  • Skin rash, unless diagnosed by a doctor as non-infectious
  • Childhood communicable disease (chickenpox, measles, mumps, etc.)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Head lice (see more information in section below)
  • Severe sore throat; note that children with strep throat may not return to school until a doctor is consulted, antibiotic treatment for at least 48 hours has been administered, and no fever is present for more than 24 hours.

Protocol for Students with Severe Allergies and Possible Anaphylactic Reaction

  • School Office must be notified
  • Proper/Specific medicines with their medical instructions must be on file and updated annually.
  • Teachers and relevant staff receive training annually in the use of epi-pens to address emergencies.
  • Most of the tables in each of our lunch areas and all of our kindergarten eating areas are designated as "nut free." There are a few tables in each of the 1st - 5th grade eating areas for students who have nuts in their lunches.
  • The vast majority of our students do not bring food with nuts to school either for snack or for lunch in an effort to be supportive of our work to keep our school safe for the students who have severe nut allergies. We are very grateful for this widespread assistance.

Head Lice Policy

Head lice are a nuisance, but not a serious threat to health. They are not associated with lack of cleanliness, but rather with having come into contact with someone who has them. Please don't hesitate to let our school office know if you find head lice on your child. We want to be able to notify other parents in the class so they can be on the look out in their own children.

If a child is found to have head lice at school, the parents will be called and informed. Parents will be provided a copy of the brochure A Parent's Guide to Head Lice (Spanish) and Lice Treatment Form. We encourage parents to treat the head lice with one of the available over-the-counter treatments as soon as possible. The child will be checked upon return to school to be sure that s/he is free of live lice. Parents are asked to complete and return the Lice Treatment Form when the child returns to school. Precautions will also be taken within the classroom to reduce the likelihood of the spread of lice by notifying all families that their children have been exposed. Our district policy regarding head lice:

Board Policy 5141.33 Head Lice