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Health

Being healthy and happy makes learning easier.  As the parent, you play a big part in keeping your child healthy and ready to learn at school.  Head Start cares about the health of your child.

Ensuring Your Child's Healthy Development

Head Start requires each child enrolled to have...

  • Updated Immunizations.
  • Physical Exam – Within the first 90 days of enrollment.
  • A physical exam should include:
    • A doctor looking at your child’s whole body
    • Height, weight and blood pressure measurements
    • A check of your child’s development
    • Hemoglobin (blood test for iron)
    • Lead (blood test for lead poisoning)
    • Immunization- a check to see if updates are needed
    • Vision and Hearing Screening
  • Dental Exam (every 6 months) – Within the first 90 days of enrollment
  • A dental exam should include:
    • Examination of all teeth and gums
    • Cleaning of all teeth
    • Fluoride Treatment

**If cavities are found and dental treatment is needed, the treatment must be completed as soon a possible. Cavities are a source of infection and may cause pain and illness if left untreated. 

Tooth brushing: A toothbrush will be provided for your child to use in the classroom.  As part of your child’s day, we will teach them how to brush and care for their teeth. At home, please encourage and help your child to practice good dental habits. Please talk with your child’s dentist or pediatrician to see if your child would benefit from fluoride.  

Illness

Our sick policy is intended to protect the health of your child, all other children and staff in the program. Please do not send your child to school if they cannot participate comfortably in daily activities due to any of the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Fever/temperature of 101° or greater
  • Sore throat
  • Wheezing
  • Ear pain/discharge
  • Eye discharge

If your child becomes ill at school, you will be contacted regarding their symptoms. Staff will discuss with you if your child needs to be sent home and when they can return to school.

If your child is diagnosed with any communicable diseases, please notify your Case Manager /Teacher as soon as possible. This way staff may notify other families that their child may have been exposed. Head Start has a health policy that requires your child to stay out of school for 24 hours for specific health reasons and they will need a doctor's excuse to return.  This policy can be provided to you by asking your case manager.

Health Services Advisory Committee

This is a group that brings together parents, staff, local health care providers and other community agencies to determine how best to meet the needs of children and families in the community.  If you are interested in joining this committee please contact your Case Manager.   

Nutrition

Monthly menus and nutrition newsletters are sent home and also posted in the classrooms. Meals are prepared and provided by local school districts and follow USDA and federal guidelines. There is no cost to the family for meals, as Head Start is reimbursed by the Child and Adult Care Food Program.   Meals are served family style with children, staff and classroom volunteers (when pre-arranged) eating together. Children are encouraged to taste new foods.

  • Menus can be adjusted to accommodate special dietary needs. Please speak to your Case Manager if your child will need special accommodations.
  • We can provide additional nutrition services as needed through our Health and Nutrition Coordinator and/or a local Registered Dietician. Please contact your Case Manager if you are interested in these services.
  • Through nutrition education, your child will learn healthy eating habits and self – help skills, such as pouring their own milk and serving their own foods. We hope that through your help at home, these skills will follow them as they grow. Nutrition – based workshops are also offered for families throughout the year.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND IN ANY FOOD.   To minimize the health risk to children with food allergies, all foods must be provided by Head Start. We cannot accept any outside food items due to Head Start regulations. 

You must provide us with a copy of your child’s immunization record as well as their current physical and dental examination forms.  Your Case Manager will provide you with the required examination forms for you to take to your scheduled appointments.  If you need assistance in finding a doctor or dentist, scheduling an appointment, or need transportation, please contact your Case Manager.  The Nutrition Coordinator and Head Start Nurse are also available for assistance.

Screenings

Screening results will be shared with parents. If a concern is identified your Case Manager will contact you to discuss the results. Our Nutrition Coordinator and Head Start Nurse are available if you have questions or concerns.
At Head Start, every child will receive the following screenings within the first 45 days of enrollment. 

  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Height & Weight
  • Nutrition
  • Developmental
    • Speech and Language, Motor, Social and Emotional, and/or Thinking and Problem – Solving skills.

Prescription Medications

When your child needs medication, try to arrange for all doses to be given at home, outside of center hours. If it is absolutely necessary for your child to have medication during the school day, you must notify your Case Manager in advance so that parents and staff can work together to make a safe plan. We will need time to complete the appropriate paperwork so that there are no lapses in your child's treatment.

Head Lice

Anyone can get head lice. Head lice are a problem in many communities and do not mean poor hygiene or social status.  Children are checked for lice every month by staff in a confidential manner.  If we find head lice, we will call you and ask you to pick up your child and take him/her home for treatment. If you discover that your child has head lice, we ask that you treat him/her with a lice product and remove all nits (eggs). Your Case Manager can provide you with resources regarding head lice prevention and treatment.