Managing your child’s health at school
Coronavirus Updates and Information
The Howard County Public School System is working closely with the Howard County Health Department with regard to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), receiving additional information and guidance from the Maryland Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. See our Coronavirus webpage for details →
Healthcare Forms for Enrollment
Based on your student’s age and upcoming grade, the following should be completed by your child’s healthcare providers before scheduling an enrollment meeting with your child’s school.
Physical Exam – required for students who have never attended a Maryland Public School, including Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten.
Immunization Form – required for students who have never attended a Maryland Public School, including Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. Proof of immunizations from a Maryland school outside of Howard County can also be used. Learn more about immunizations requirements
Dental Exam – HCPSS strongly urges families to have children visit their dentist at least once a year, please have your dentist examine your child and complete this form before registration.
Lead Testing Form – required for enrolling a child in child care, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten or first grade.
Frequent Health Topics
Students can take their medications, whether prescribed or over the counter, in the health room during the school day.
EpiPens must be provided by parents for use during school hours. Additionally, parents can notify the school about food allergies and accommodations can be made.
If a student is diabetic there are a few extra forms to fill out and the school requires a notice from a family physician.
Telehealth at Elementary Schools
Telehealth services are currently offered at 7 of the 8 schools participating in the HCPSS Elementary School Model. The telehealth program, offered in partnership with Howard County Health Department, connects a child in the health room with a health care provider in another location. This allows children who need health services to be treated in school, so they miss less class time.
HCPSS families may deal with communicable diseases, such as lice, fever, etc. Learn how these conditions are managed at school, and how they can be handled at home
Student medications and diabetic management routines are still followed on overnight and school day field trips.
Paperwork for upcoming field trips are usually administered by the school, including medical procedure forms. However, to best prepare for an upcoming field trip, view the complete field trip procedures and forms packet.
Medications that are normally given during the school day do not need a new form filled out.
Diabetic student? Find out how to plan for an upcoming field trip.
Vision and Hearing Screenings in Schools
Howard County screens children new to the Maryland school system and those in Pre-K or Kindergarten, first and eighth grades.
Sexual Health and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Awareness
HCPSS and the Howard County Health Department (HCHD) have launched an awareness campaign to inform high school students about the risks of STIs and offer free, confidential screening tests and access to treatment. This initiative, “I Want the Kit” (IWTK), is co-sponsored and funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH).
Juuling and Vaping
Juuling and the use of other forms of vaporized nicotine (vaping) are on the rise among alarming numbers of teens, and even younger children. These products are extremely addictive and can cause significant, lifelong damage to the developing brain.
A Juul is a popular brand of vaping product that can be inhaled in a matter of seconds but contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. A Juul looks similar in size and shape to a flash or thumb drive and is activated through a computer’s USB port. It can be especially appealing to teens because it is available in flavored scents and its use is widely encouraged on social media and YouTube. Many teens who would never consider smoking tobacco, regularly enjoy juuling and are unaware of its health risks.
Juuls are easily ordered online and can be concealed in a backpack, pocket or purse. Too often, parents and teachers are unaware that students are juuling or vaping because the products can be very difficult to detect, even when used during class.
The following resources can support parents and guardians in protecting their children and educating them about the risks of vaporized nicotine.
- Text QUIT” to 706-222-QUIT for free advice, tips and inspiration for quitting
- Howard County Health Department – Free Tobacco Awareness program for teens about the risks of nicotine use
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Information about the risks of e-cigarettes to youth and young adults, including a parent tip sheet
- Maryland Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control – Facts and Resources
- Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults
Accident and Medical Insurance
The school system does not carry medical insurance for accidents that occur at school, including non-sport related injuries, such as trips and falls, physical education injuries, and recess/playground injuries. Thus, parents are encouraged to enroll students in the accident insurance program offered through HCPSS.
The Maryland Children’s Health Insurance Program (MCHIP) is available for families, pregnant women, and children in need of medical insurance. Applications are available through the school health assistant or by contacting the Howard County Health Department at 410-313-7500.
Aggregate Student Health Data Collection
As part of a Data Sharing Agreement with the Howard County Health Department (HCHD), HCPSS will collect bi-annually the program evaluation data, and share the data in the aggregate with HCHD for program evaluation purposes. Learn more about the aggregate data collected and shared with the Health Department →