Smart Source 2015-16 Executive Summary - Page 13

Health Services continued Tooth decay is the single most common childhood chronic disease, causing a loss of 51 million hours of school time each year (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000). Without mandated standards of practice, oral health screenings and referrals are less common in schools, with less than 17 percent of all schools doing so in all grades and for new students (Figure 6.2). Once referrals are made for oral health problems, over 70 percent of school have a follow-up procedure in place. To properly manage student health needs, schools keep records for various types of student information. The most common documentation in health services is on student health conditions (e.g., asthma, life-threatening allergies, diabetes type 1 or 2, seizures) and immunization status – kept in nearly 100 percent of schools (Figure 6.3). Documentation on health insurance is less common, available in fewer than two-thirds of schools. The prevalence of student overweight or obesity (BMI at or above the 85th percentile) rates are even less likely to be monitored, recorded in fewer than 25 percent of schools. FIGURE 6.3 Percentage of schools with the following components in health service records While most schools have some access to a school nurse, fewer than 40 percent report having one school nurse present for 31 to 40 hours per week (Figure 6.1). In absence of a school nurse, participating schools designate other staff to address daily health emergencies and chronic needs of students, including health clerks/ health aides, administrators, and administrative assistants. • 11 •