The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires immunizations, physicals and dental exams for entry into school and continued attendance.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires the following immunizations for entry into school and continued attendance. The regulations are intended to ensure that children attending school in the commonwealth are adequately protected against potential outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases.
Children in ALL grades (K-12) need the following immunizations for attendance:
- 4 doses of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (1 dose on or after the 4th birthday)*
- 4 doses of polio (4th dose on or after 4th birthday and at least 6 months after previous dose given)
- 2 doses of measles, mumps, rubella**
- 3 doses of hepatitis B
- 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) or evidence of immunity
*Usually given as DTP or DTaP or if medically advisable, DT or Td
**Usually given as MMR
Children in 7th-grade need the following additional immunizations for attendance:
- 1 dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap)
- 1 dose meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV)
Children in 12th-grade need the following additional immunizations for attendance:
- 2nd dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV)
- First dose is given 11-15 years of age; a second dose is required at age 16 or entry into 12th grade.
- If the first dose was given at 16 years of age or older, only one dose is required.
Exemptions to school laws for immunizations are:
- medical reasons;
- religious beliefs; and
- philosophical/strong moral or ethical conviction
If your child is exempt from immunizations, he or she may be removed from school during an outbreak.
Pennsylvania's school immunization requirements can be found in 28 Pa.CODE CH.23 (School Immunization). Contact your healthcare provided or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH for more information.
Pennsylvania School Health Law requires a physical examination upon entrance to school (kindergarten or first grade) and in grades six and eleven. Examinations done by a family physician within one year before the opening of the school term are acceptable by state regulations.
Parents are encouraged to take their children to their family physician for the exam to provide continuity of care. Your family physician is familiar with your child and is better able to detect any changes in your child's health status.
If financial need is demonstrated, the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers low-cost medical insurance. Please contact the school nurse for further information.
Pennsylvania School Health Law requires a dental examination upon entrance to school (kindergarten or first grade) and in grades three and seven. Examinations done by a family dentist within one year before the opening of the school term are acceptable by state regulations.
Parents are encouraged to take their children to their family dentist for the exam to provide continuity of care. Your family physician is familiar with your child and is better able to detect any changes in your child's health status.
Pennsylvania state-mandated health screenings are conducted yearly in the fall by the district nurses. The results of these screenings are sent to parents and a recommendation for further evaluation is given when a problem is detected.
Near and Far Vision: All grades, every year
Color, Stereo Depth & Plus Lens Vision: Grades 1 and 2
Hearing: Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 7, 11
Scoliosis: Grades 6 & 7
Height & Weight: All grades, every year
Body Mass Index: All grades, every year
The Body Mass Index (BMI), developed by the Centers for Disease Control, is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems in children. The BMI is calculated from body weight adjusted for height, age and gender. It is used to help determine whether a child is within a normal growth pattern, overweight, at risk of becoming overweight or underweight. Referral to your family physician for further evaluation is recommended for children who have a BMI outside the normal range less than the 5th percentile and greater than the 85th percentile.
It is important to keep in mind that this is only a screening and your child's health care provider is the best person to evaluate whether or not your child's measurements are within a healthy range.