school health issuesSchool Health Issues


  • Free Epi-Pen® to schools who have physician orders for stock epinephrine

    The Illinois Emergency Epinephrine Act, PA97-0361, allows schools to stock a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors, authorizes schools to enter into an agreement with a physician  to provide the school with a prescription to obtain the auto-injectors, and gives school nurses (RN) the power to administer the epinephrine to any student whom the registered nurse believes is having an anaphylactic reaction.

    Mylan© Pharmaceuticals has agreed to provide free epinephrine auto-injectors (Epi-Pen®) again this school year to all schools that have a standing order for this emergency drug. The program requirements are: 1) school must have a doctor’s order for the use of this drug and 2) a representative of the school or district must sign the order form. The instructions and order forms can be accessed at

    The Illinois Attorney General's office and other agencies and associations last year produced the “Physician’s Toolkit”, which among other objectives, can assist a physician in writing the school prescription. The “toolkit” also answers physician questions on liability.
  • EpiPen (epinephrine) Guidance (PA97-0361) - Illinois Attorney General's Office PDF File
  • Parent Fact Sheet PDF File
  • Physician Fact Sheet PDF File
  • Physician’s Toolkit PDF File
  • School Fact Sheet PDF File
  • Food Allergy Guidelines and Resources

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The Illinois High School Association has a variety of resources on concussions on its Sports Medicine page at Check under “Recent Announcements” for the latest, including guidelines for management of concussion in sports and a video on the National Federation of State High School Associations’ Return to Play Policy.

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 CPR Training for Students

A student who has been shown a video on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be in a better position to save a life in school, at home or in the community. Public Act 097-0714, effective June 28, 2012, recommends such training for students in grades 6 through 8 as part of the school’s safety education curriculum. Schools may choose to but are not required to provide this training. The training in “hands only” CPR and in the use of automated external defibrillator (AED) may be met through a free video provided to schools courtesy of the Northwestern University Department of Emergency Medicine. The video has the endorsement of Illinois State Board of Education, the American Heart Association and other community health agencies.

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Additional Diabetes Resources

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  Eye Health

Vision screening is required annually on all children in special education, children new to the district, and teacher/parent referrals. Vision screening is also required beginning at age 3 in all licensed daycare/preschool programs. Once a child begins school, vision screening is required in grades K, 2 and 8.

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Hearing screening is required annually on all children in special education, children new to the district, and teacher/parent referrals. Hearing screening is also required beginning at age 3 in all licensed daycare/preschool programs. Once a child begins school, hearing screening is required at grades K, 1, 2 and 3.

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 Heat-Related Illness


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  School Health Notices

  • State Health Department Issues Advice Concerning Screening for Ebola Virus - Recommendations for Colleges and Universities PDF format (9/14)new
    With significant international travel and educational foreign exchange programs there is a possibility that student, faculty, or staff who travel from areas where Ebola virus is present could arrive in the United States. The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued an advisory letter related to the virus that is suspected to be the cause of death of more than 1,500 people worldwide. Should a school learn that a student or staff person may have traveled in an area of the world where Ebola is present, they should refer that student or staff to the school nurse. If student health clinicians determine that an individual is has a high or low risk exposure, as defined in the letter from IDPH, the clinician should contact their local health department to determine additional actions regarding evaluation and monitoring.
  • Illinois Department of Public Health Measles Health Alert pdf format (3/14)
    The Illinois Department of Public Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments, is investigating a second case of measles in McDonough County. The most recent case is an adult who attended a junior high volleyball game in Bushnell on Feb. 25. This second case was exposed to a previously reported child international visitor with measles in McDonough County. This latest instance brings the total to two cases in Illinois related to this situation. The investigation is still ongoing, and all suspect cases and exposures are continually being evaluated.

    In addition, state health authorities have been made aware of two laboratory-confirmed and several probable mumps cases in a Morgan County community. Mumps, an acute vaccine-preventable viral illness transmitted by respiratory droplets and saliva, has an incubation period of 16-18 days. A statewide notification has been sent since the cases are widespread across the Morgan County community, and a common exposure has not been identified.

    Schools are reminded that they are required by IDPH rule to maintain an up-to-date list of all students who are not protected against any disease for which a vaccine is required for school attendance, including those with waivers based on religious beliefs or on medical conditions. If someone has measles-like symptoms, follow isolation guidelines to prevent further spread and contact your local health department or IDPH as soon as possible.

    Measles symptoms include fever and rash, history of international travel in the past three weeks or contact with international visitors and history of exposure to a confirmed case.
  • IDPH Memorandum: Herpes Gladiatorum in High School Wrestlers pdf format  (1/13)
    Students engaging in sports often have contact with other students, whether on the basketball court or the wrestling mat or volleyball court. Due to prolonged, skin to skin contact in wrestling, student wrestlers are at higher risk for diseases spread by contact. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has alerted us that a skin infection, herpes gladiatorum, has been tentatively identified in members of several high school wrestling teams throughout the state. Please review the guidance document from IDPH.
  • Guidance for Prevention of Acute Gastroenteritis (AGE) Outbreaks in Daycare Facilities and Schools (Dec. 2012)
  • IDPH Guidance for Schools: Students and Community Associated Staphylococcus Aureus (CA-MRSA) Infections (Jan 2009)

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  School Health Resources

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  Sex Education

Public Act 98-0441 requires schools that teach sex education in any of grades 6 through 12 to include instruction in both abstinence and contraception, and to teach with materials that are evidence-based and medically accurate. The Act also requires ISBE to provide a listing of resources to assist schools to secure or develop or adapt instructional materials in sex education that comply with the law, effective January 1, 2014. ISBE is currently reviewing many available programs and adaptations, in consultation with Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Department of Public Health, and the CDC.

Although health teachers must implement the Illinois Learning Standards for physical development and health, health teachers are also advised to review the CDC’s standards on health education, found at:

Offered here are two links to documents from the CDC that provide a listing of evidence-based instruction in HIV prevention and in pregnancy prevention.

Staff Training to Support Safe and Supportive Environments Related to Sex Education:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has provided to ISBE funding to support sex education and the creation and maintenance of safe and supportive environments for all students, including those who have different sexual identities from the heterosexual norm. As part of the project, ISBE encourages all school staff to learn skills to provide students with such safety and support. Step In Speak Up! – Supporting LGBTQ Students is a free training offered by Illinois Department of Public Health. The training is self-paced and has proven effective in assisting school staff to create and maintain safe and supportive environments for such students.

To take the online training:

  1. Go to
  2. Select the training and create your account. (Choose “Other” if you work with multiple schools.).
  3. Take the brief pre-training survey, followed by the training (can be completed in one or multiple sittings).
  4. Please also take the post training survey to assist in the program evaluation.
  5. Print your certificate of completion.

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  State Laws/Statutes and Rules/Regulations

 Training Opportunities

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