Valid excuses to sit out of sports?

  1. Hello - I am a new school nurse and I'm at a small boarding school. My shift is 3-8 pm and I get a steady parade of kids starting at 3 looking to get out of their sports practice or games. Usually it's headache, cramps etc - which I will not excuse for, but I am curious what you would put in an email to send out to the student body for examples of what you DO excuse for. Anyone have a policy at their school you could show me? Thanks in advance!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   ctate
    I don't normally excuse sitting out in PE. My go to answer is we have to have a physician order to let them sit out. I do have exceptions to the rule, for example, they fall and hurt limb right before PE or if say one of my diabetics are waiting for their blood sugar to come up higher.
  4. by   GdBSN
    If there is an accident that happens at school that day that prevents them from participating, I would excuse it. I'm at a high school, so if it is sports related, I defer to the trainer. If the injury happened prior to the current day, I require a doctor's note.
  5. by   Lemur
    So since this is a boarding school the kids aren't going to have a doctor's note that I wouldn't already know about (because another nurse or I would've taken them to the doctor probably) - so I guess what I'm really looking for is the verbage to send out to the kids that will get my point across nicely. My point being I'm not going to excuse you unless you're dying!
  6. by   PeakRN
    I wouldn't write what you will excuse them for unless you want to start seeing a strategic increase in complaints of vertigo, vision problems, and alleged vomiting that nobody actually witnessed (or whatever else you are contemplating putting in that letter).

    If you really are determined to stem the tide of minor complaints I would emphasize that you are going to work with the teachers, coaches, trainers, etc to maximize their ability to participate in activities in a manner that promotes safety and fitness (or however you want to word it). I knew a strength and conditioning coach who had a stair master for anyone with an upper body injury and a upper body water wheel bike... uh... thing for lower body injuries. With the exception of those who were actually casted by an ortho magically nobody had any injuries as an hour on those two machines was always worse than the planned lifts.
  7. by   ohiobobcat
    I agree with Peak- don't tell them what you WILL excuse them for!! Yikes!

    In my head, I am thinking excused for fever, actual vomiting related to illness, actual diarrhea more than 2-3 times, concussion diagnosis, legitimate musculoskeletal injury. Everyone else goes to practice.

    Have you talked with the coaches yet? I agree a team approach is best when figuring out how to deal with students trying to get out of practice with relatively minor complaints.
    Last edit by ohiobobcat on Oct 13
  8. by   Farawyn
    A legit Dr. note.

    That's it.
  9. by   Farawyn
    Quote from Lemur
    Hello - I am a new school nurse and I'm at a small boarding school. My shift is 3-8 pm and I get a steady parade of kids starting at 3 looking to get out of their sports practice or games. Usually it's headache, cramps etc - which I will not excuse for, but I am curious what you would put in an email to send out to the student body for examples of what you DO excuse for. Anyone have a policy at their school you could show me? Thanks in advance!
    Sorry, misunderstoood!

    I allow a child one day "sick" if they don't feel well. After that one day, if they are still sick they must have a note.
  10. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Quote from Farawyn
    Sorry, misunderstoood!

    I allow a child one day "sick" if they don't feel well. After that one day, if they are still sick they must have a note.
    I also allow a couple of my severe asthma students a day when I know that their meds and inhaler at keeping the worst at bay, but gym will tip it over. Of course, all of our PE classes are outside, so temp and weather conditions are also often a factor in this as well. But usually the student and/or parent has checked in with me early in the day to discuss gym and I have their asthma action plan on file with a note about symptoms and physical activity allowances.
  11. by   Flare
    You're in a unique situation compared to the rest of us. In my case I get get the students that will want to tap out of PE then I will SEE them as you are on your way home getting ready for practice or a game. Talk about a miracle recovery.
    In your case, I would collaborate more with the coaches to figure on maybe a no practice no play rule.
    In general I would not permit them to not participate for anything that i typically would not be sending home in my school: so headaches, minor nausea, cramps, congestion - all have to buck up.
  12. by   NutmeggeRN
    Quote from Farawyn
    Sorry, misunderstoood!

    I allow a child one day "sick" if they don't feel well. After that one day, if they are still sick they must have a note.
    Yup, one day unless it is clearly obvious that being in PE with aggravate the sx. Here in public school I can then require and MD note. Use your nursing judgement, but encourage them to be as active as possible.
  13. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    I tell the young ladies that exercise can actually help cramps .
  14. by   kidzcare
    Up to 3 days for the same complaint. After that a dr note is required.

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