School Nurse

Welcome from your School Nurse
Gwen Natyzak, R.N.

 Contact me with any questions or concerns at (434) 384-2881
Clinic hours:  7:30-3:00

Health Forms
Immunization Requirements
School Entrance Health Form
Physician and Parent Authorization to Administer Medication Form
Oral Antihistamines Parent Authorization Form
Asthma Healthcare Plan and Medication Authorization Form
Acute Concussion Short Term Care Plan

Let's get started on a healthy new year!
Monthly health tips:
Choose whole foods - whole grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts.
Limit processed foods.  

Influenza (commonly referred to as the “flu”) is a viral disease of the respiratory tract. There are two main types of influenza virus: A and B. Illness is usually characterized by sudden onset with symptoms of high fever or chills, headache, congestion, muscle aches, and a dry cough. Some individuals may experience stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and conjunctivitis (inflammation of the lining of the eyes). Most people are ill with the “flu” for a week or less. 

Transmission:  The flu is spread through direct contact with an ill person.  Infection with the “flu” does not make a person immune. The viruses that cause influenza frequently change, and people may be infected with a new strain.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older.

Diagnosis: Diagnosis is generally made presumptively based on symptoms. However, laboratory tests can be obtained to confirm this diagnosis.

Treatment:  Health care providers generally advise individuals with influenza to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest.

If your child has symptoms of the flu, please consult their physician and keep them home from school especially if they have a fever.

Please telephone our school office to let us know when your child is absent due to illness. We monitor for flu-like symptoms.

Facts about Norovirus (“Stomach Bug”)

  • Norovirus is a highly contagious, gastrointestinal virus that usually lasts up to three days.
  • Norovirus is the leading cause of outbreaks of diarrhea and vomiting in the U.S., and it spreads quickly.
  • Norovirus spreads by contact with an infected person or by touching a contaminated surface or eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.
  • Any vomit or diarrhea may contain norovirus and should be treated as though it does.

 Signs of norovirus:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches

 Preventing Norovirus Infection

  • Wash your hands well and often with soap and water.
  • When you are sick, do not prepare food or care for others who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces.
  • Immediately remove and wash clothes or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or stool.
  • Stay home from school or work for 24 hours after vomiting and diarrhea have resolved.


Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine, flavorings, and other ingredients to the user. Using e-cigarettes is sometimes called “vaping.” E-cigarettes do not create harmless “water vapor” – they create an aerosol that can contain harmful substances including:  nicotine, cancer-causing chemicals, ultrafine particles, volatile organic compounds, flavorings that have been linked to lung disease, nickel, tin, and lead.

Risks for youth

Nicotine exposure during adolescence can:

  • Harm brain development, which continues until about age 25.
  • Impact learning, memory, and attention.
  • Increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.

What can you do as a parent?

  • Talk to your child or teen about why e-cigarettes are harmful for them.
  • Set a good example by being tobacco-free.
  • Learn about the different types of e-cigarettes and risks for young people at

For more info:

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations for Children’s Media Use

  • For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.
  • For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
  • For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health. 
  • Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
  • Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.

Model healthy social media use with younger children
About 1 in 5 children has a phone by age 8. Scholars like Jordan Shapiro and Stacey Steinberg have argued that parents need to model healthy social media use with younger children, and let them participate. And parenting expert Ana Homayoun says that parents can help establish healthier habits with the first phone by taking a heavier hand while children are younger — by checking the phone periodically, actively coaching kids on social media etiquette and handing the phone over only at certain designated times. Read more here:


  • A parent must sign a consent form before any medicine can be given at school.
  • Authorization forms are available at school and on this webpage. 
  • Parents must bring medication to school. Do not send medicine with your child.
  • Please request a separate bottle from the pharmacy for the school clinic.
  • All medicine must be in the original container.
  • Over the counter medications will be administered as instructed on the box.

Keeping kids healthy at school

Teach your children:

  • Good hand washing

  • Cough into elbow or sleeve not hands

  • Do not touch their face unless they have washed their hands

  • Not to put objects like pencils in their mouth

  • Don’t share food, drinks, utensils

  • Avoid head-to-head contact, do not share combs, brushes, hats

  • Store your sweater or jacket in your backpack

  • Keep open sores covered  

Student Wellness Policy
The objectives of our Student Wellness Policy are to promote student health and reduce childhood obesity. Teachers are using other options for instruction/incentives rather than food items. Attention to individual student allergies and health care plans within the class population is required. No sharing of outside food and drinks among students. Do not send cupcakes, candy, or food treats for birthday celebrations.

  • Celebrations with food are limited to three times per year per class.
  • Food items are to be selected from BCPS Healthy Snack List or from our school cafeteria. 
  • Teachers must notify parents of events involving foods.      


Bedford County Public Schools are utilizing CareDox as a  tool for nurses to notify parents when their child visits the clinic as well as for parents to provide us with accurate medical information. All information is stored securely and is HIPAA and FERPA compliant. You will receive an email directly from CareDox with a personalized link to establish your child's record electronically.

You may email the Parent Support Team at CareDox if you have not received an email from them. 
Their email address:

Facts about CareDox are located at this link:

Conjunctivitis (Pink eye) 
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes that line the eyelids. The white part of the eye becomes pink and the eye produces lots of tears and discharge. In the morning, discharge may make the eyelids stick together. 

Organisms that cause conjunctivitis are transmitted by touching or shaking hands, coughing, sneezing, touching an object or surface with germs on it, then touching your eyes before washing your hands.  

Contact your child’s doctor with symptoms of conjunctivitis. Antibiotic treatment may be required if bacterial.

School Exclusion Guidelines
Exclude from school while symptomatic or until 24 hours of antibiotic treatment has been completed.


Does your child need health insurance?
FAMIS is Virginia's health insurance program for children. It makes health care affordable for children of eligible families. FAMIS covers all the medical care growing children need to avoid getting sick, plus the medical care that will help them if they get sick or hurt. 

For more information call 1-855-242-8282 (toll free) or log onto
Article on smartphone use
Article on smartphone use
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