Skip to main content

Decatur City Schools

Mobile Menu Toggle
School Health Services » FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

1.) My child is sick. Should he/she come to school?
          Determining if your child should come to school or not, because they are sick, can be difficult. Please review our Sickness Guidelines
        2.) Can I send "over-the-counter" medications to school for my child?
       Yes. However, please note that ALL medications, both prescription and non-prescription, require a PRESCRIBER/PARENT AUTHORIZATION FORM (PPA) signed by both a doctor AND a parent. This authorization MUST be renewed every school year. The form can be downloaded on this website in the "Downloadable Forms" section. Please see our "Medication Guidelines" section on this website for further information.

3.) Why do I have to get an authorization form signed by a doctor if I already have a prescription for my child's medication?

       Many parents ask this same question. The answer is simple. Since you are not at school to give the medication to your child each day, a certified/licensed person must administer the medication in your absence. The state requires a signed doctor's statement (known as a PRESCRIBER/PARENT AUTHORIZATION FORM (PPA) that specifies, "who", "how", "when", "how much", "how often", and "for what" during school hours. This is a legal document allowing the certified/licensed person to administer the medication during school hours.
If a student brings a medication to school without a signed PRESCRIBER/PARENT AUTHORIZATION FORM (PPA) and your child REQUIRES the medicine during school hours, then you (parent/guardian) must bring the medication to school at the specified time and administer it yourself. The school cannot keep or administer the medication without a signed PRESCRIBER/PARENT AUTHORIZATION FORM (PPA).
4.) My child has pink eye. When can they return to school?

       Once your child has been on antibiotic eye drops for 24 hours, they may return to school. There are several different forms of "pink-eye" (also known as conjunctivitis). Allergies, viruses, chemicals, and bacteria can cause "pink-eye". If your child has any type of white, yellow or green drainage from their eyes associated with redness and/or irritation, they will need to be seen by their doctor or health care provider. Antibiotics are needed for the bacterial forms of "pink-eye". 

NOTE: It is highly recommended that parents/guardians encourage proper handwashing in order to help prevent their children from contracting and spreading pink eye and other contagious germs.

5.) My child has lice. When can they return to school?
      Once treatment has been completed at home, students can return to school the following day. Lice are pesky little critters. Don't worry. Lice do not carry diseases and they are harmless to humans. However, they can be a nuisance. Outbreaks can be common among children. Lice love clean scalps and spread quickly between younger school age children.

Decatur City Schools cannot recommend a specific treatment for lice. Ask your doctor or health care provider about treatments for removing lice. It is very important to remove all visible nits after treatment. This will help prevent further outbreaks.

6.) My child has scabies. When can they return to school?

       Scabies requires a doctor's prescription for a special medication that is applied to the skin. Once treatment has started, your child may return to school the following day. Scabies are more contagious in the home setting than at school. They are usually spread at home within the family and close friend setting. All siblings should be checked and treated if necessary. All affected areas must be covered. Please make sure that all areas of the irritated/affected skin are covered by clothing.


7.) My child has an open wound. Can they come to school?

          All open wounds (draining, oozing or moist appearing) MUST be covered by a dry and clean dressing. Germs, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi can get into an open wound and cause health problems. If you notice redness, swelling, drainage, foul smelling odors, and/or fever, please have your child evaluated by their health care provider.

8.) What is Fifth Disease?

          Fifth disease is usually a mild illness that resolves on its own among children and adults who are otherwise healthy. A mild rash occurs most commonly in children. The ill child typically has a "slapped-cheek" rash on the face and a lacy red rash on the trunk and limbs. Occasionally, the rash may itch. An ill child may have a low-grade fever, malaise, or a "cold" a few days before the rash breaks out. The child is usually not very ill, and the rash resolves in 7 to 10 days.
A person infected with Fifth Disease (parvovirus B19) is contagious during the early part of the illness, before the rash appears. In fact, most people who have Fifth Disease never know or show signs of being ill. By the time a child has the characteristic "slapped cheek" rash of fifth disease, for example, he or she is probably no longer contagious. This contagious period is different than that for many other rash illnesses, such as measles, for which the child is contagious while he or she has the rash.
During school outbreaks, 10% to 60% of students may get fifth disease. Outbreaks of Fifth Disease usually occur about every 3-5 years. There is no need for concern unless a child has an underlying chronic illness, such as Sickle Cell Disease or Anemia. Please have your child evaluated by their doctor if they have more than mild cold symptoms.
There is no vaccine or medicine that prevents Fifth Disease infection. Frequent handwashing is recommended as a practical and probably effective method to decrease the chance of becoming infected. Excluding persons with fifth disease from work, child care centers, or schools is not likely to prevent the spread of the virus, since people are contagious before they develop the rash.
Occasionally, serious complications may develop from Fifth Disease infection during the first trimester of pregnancy. For details, please see the CDC information sheet entitled, "Parvovirus B19 Infection and Pregnancy."
(CDC website:http


DISCLAIMER: Decatur City School nurses do not take the place of a doctor. None of the information provided on this website is meant to replace a doctor.  Every student should have their own health care provider. The information on this website is meant for informational purposes only. Decatur City Schools, it's staff, teachers, and nurses are not responsible for anyone who does not follow the advice of their own physician or health care provider.