HOUMA, La. - Even though school doesn't start for a few weeks, school health staff are asking parents to inform them of any medicine their children must take.
In Terrebonne Parish, parents whose children require in-school medicines must pick up a form at the school board office, 201 Stadium Drive in Houma, according to Child Welfare Supervisor Linda Joseph. Those forms must be filled out by the child's doctor.Parents should then schedule an appointment with a nurse. From July 11 through July 16, you can schedule an appointment by calling 876-7400, ext. 324; from July 17 through 20, you can schedule an appointment at 853-1602.Parents should bring the doctor-completed forms and a labeled pharmacy bottle for any necessary medicines. All summer assessments will be conducted from July 17 through July 20 at the first-floor nurse's station at Terrebonne High School, which is next door to the board office.In Lafourche Parish, appointments can be arranged through individual schools, according to spokesman Floyd Benoit.A list of school phone numbers is available on the school system website, lafourche.k12.la.us.Benoit said there's often a rush to register kids in the week or so right before school starts.Any kind of medicines, including those that don't need a prescription, need to be approved, Benoit said.'If they have a toothache and they need Tylenol or medicine for allergies, anything, they need to come to us,' Benoit said.Students with food allergies who carry epinephrine injectors, or 'Epi-Pens,' must first get approval.Benoit also said parents should meet with school nurses beforehand to let them know about any special conditions or sensitivities their child might have.'It's better to play it safe and talk to them, even if you don't think it's a big deal,' he said.Benoit said the number of students who need medicine administered in school has declined sharply over the past few years, since doctors started prescribing time-release pills that parents can administer before or after school. 'About seven or so years ago, there were plenty, plenty students needed medicine during the day,' Benoit said. 'You don't see nearly as many these days though.'Staff Writer Matthew Albright can be reached at 448-7635 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.