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NURSE'S  CORNER

CLINIC PHONE NUMBER:  571-377-6212   

 A "big welcome" to all new and returning "Healthy Haydon Hawks"!

We look forward to wonderful 2013-14 School Year.

Here is some information from Mrs. Kaska, the School Nurse

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Mandated Health Screening at School:
 
State Law requires that all NEW students (as well as ALL students in grades 3, 7, and 10) receive a vision and hearing screening within 60 administrative working days of the start of school. Students in grades K - 3 must also be screened for speech and fine/gross motor skills.  The screenings will take place during school, and the school nurse will contact you if any problems or deficits  are discovered.
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If you have any questions, please phone Sandy Thompson, RN, MSN - Supervisor of Administrative Services at 571-377-6043 or the Haydon School Nurse, Heidi Kaska, RN at 571-377-6212.
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REMEMBER: It is very important that we have current phone numbers for all our students in case of emergency. Please call the school or the clinic if you have recently changed your home, work, or cell phone number so we can add that information to your child's Emergency Card. We also suggest that you add our school phone number (571-377-6200) to your phone Contacts List.

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FOOD ALLERGIES:  Please contact the school nurse immediately if your child is diagnosed with a food allergy, particularly one that is serious enough to require medication (such as a peanut allergy). 

 

Here is a link to our school division's Guidelines on Food Allergies:  http://manassascity.va.schoolwebpages.com/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=14874&

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.BIRTHDAY TREATS: Birthdays are certainly special for children. However, please be aware that we have over 65 students at Haydon with food allergies, some of which are life-threatening. There are also a number of students who are adversely affected by sugary treats and drinks. For this reason, we request that parents bring only healthy food items (for example, fruit--no nuts or peanuts please!) for birthdays.  Or better yet, consider providing non-food items, in accordance with our new Division-wide guidelines, described below.

 

Please note:  Starting with the Spring Semester 2013.....

To help reduce the risk of serious health consequences from food allergies and to promote healthier lifestyles among students, MCPS is encouraging all members of the community to avoid unhealthy food options by asking that parents begin to provide NON-FOOD alternatives to celebrate their children's birthdays. We will start encouraging this in February at the start of the Spring Semester. If your child has an upcoming birthday, his or her teacher will send home a list of suggested items for you to send in (that is, if you choose to have your child's birthday celebrated at school--which is, of course, entirely optional!).

 

IMPORTANT: parents must inform the class teacher a few days BEFORE your child's birthday if you are planning on bringing food treats to school. Treats not previously approved might not be served! (Please contact the school nurse for a list of "healthy" birthday suggestions.)

 

 

 

IMPORTANT--STUDENTS WITH ASTHMA!!!

Starting in 2009, the propellant in most albuterol inhalers was changed to protect the environment.   Unfortunately, the new product (called an HFA inhaler) clogs very easily.  This is big problem because the amount of medication dispensed with each "puff" from a clogged inhaler is much less than is needed to treat an asthma attack.    

For this reason it is absolutely essential that parents wash these new inhalers with warm water at least once a week and prime them if not used in over 14 days.  Please do not wait til your child is in the middle of an asthma attack to make sure his or her inhaler is working properly! 

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Nebulizer in Clinic:    For your information, a nebulizer is available available in the school clinic for children with asthma whose parents want them to get nebulizer treatments during the school day.  Please contact the school nurse for more details!

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MEDICATIONS AT SCHOOL

This is a reminder that we are happy to give medications at school if your child needs them during the school day. However, we CANNOT dispense a medication to your child unless we have a signed MCPS Medication Consent Form on file and the medication sent in is properly labeled and in its original container.

You can download our Medication Consent Forms by clicking on the "attachment" link below.  (Tip:  save the file to your computer before opening it.)  You can also call the clinic at the above number to have forms sent home for completion. The first form listed can be used for all medications (prescription or over-the-counter) with the exception of Epipens, which require a separate form (form #2). Over-the-counter medications do not require a doctor's signature unless they are to be given long-term.

For children with asthma, see the note about nebulizers in Reminders & Tips, below.

 



Contagious Illnesses in Schools  

This is a reminder that washing hands, covering sneezes, and staying out of public places when ill (or when others are ill) is essential to preventing the spread of "germs."    Also remember that despite concerns about school attendance, your children's health (and the health of other children) is most important of all.    For this reason, we ask you to please:

  • Call the school nurse at 571-377-6212 to let us know if your child is absent with a contagious illness such as strep throat, the respiratory "flu", impetigo, Fifth Disease, etc.  (Ear and sinus  infections, while often a reason for keeping a child home, are usually not very contagious.)
  • Keep your child home if he/she has a fever of over 100.0.  A fever indicates that your child has an infection that could be passed to other students.  If you give your child Motrin or Tylenol, the fever will, of course, disappear but he/she will still be contagious to others. Children must be fever-free for 24 hours (without medication) before returning to school!
  • If the doctor prescribes medication for your child, please make sure he/she takes it as directed-which means the right amount at the right time and without missing doses.  Please do NOT let children measure out or take medication on their own. Do not use a kitchen spoon for measuring medication-use a calibrated medicine cup or syringe to ensure proper dosage. 

Please also, see the pink information box below "Too Sick for School?" for more information about criteria for keeping sick children home. Thank you very much for helping keep all our students healthy!


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TOO SICK FOR SCHOOL? 

Various "ailments" are common in all schools during the winter months: strep throat, gastrointestinal viruses, "pink eye", and the common cold. Good handwashing is the best defense against all contagious illnesses, along with covering coughs and reducing exposure to ill individuals. We understand that parents may worry about their students missing school.  However, please remember the "Golden Rule" when it comes to not sending children with serious, contagious illnesses to school.  (When in doubt, call the nurse!)

The following students must stay home from school:  those with active vomiting or diarrhea, fevers over 100 degrees, undiagnosed rashes, serious untreated injuries, contagious illnesses, or who are obviously unwell.

Children with suspected strep throat or impetigo must see a doctor for diagnosis and, if positive, may not return to school until they have been on antibiotics for at least 24 hours AND are fever/symptom-free without taking Motrin or Tylenol to mask the fever. Those with symptoms of bacterial or viral "pink eye" (conjunctivitis) must stay home until the eye is no longer red or he or she has been cleared for school attendance by a doctor. 


STOMACH AND INTESTINAL VIRUSES

NOTE:  Many people use the word "flu" when describing what is really a gastrointestinal (GI) virus.  However, in the medical world,  the "flu" actually refers to the influenza virus that causes the severe respiratory symptoms (described in the box above).  

GI viruses (such as the norovirus) can occur at any time of year, though are most common during the winter months. These viruses are highly contagious and can result in severe incapacity. Please keep in mind that small children and the elderly can become dehydrated very quickly!  If you or your family is hit by a gastrointestinal (GI) virus (or have similar symptoms), contact your doctor or emergency facility for advice, particularly if the ill person has severe vomiting, diarrhea or a high fever.

To avoid "rebound" diarrhea, avoid consuming dairy products (cheese, milk, ice cream, etc.) for a few days after symptoms have subsided.  To keep from spreading the virus, wash your hands frequently and d isinfect contaminated surfaces with a weak solution of 1 part bleach to 50 parts water. Please note that hand sanitizers are NOT effective in controlling norovirus because alcohol does not kill the virus!  Finally, children must stay home from school for a full 24 hours after the vomiting and diarrhea have stopped. 

Here is a link with information about the norovirus: 

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/norovirus-qa.htm  


9-5-2-1-0 for Health

Once again this year, MCPS schools is "on the bandwagon" for health with our wellness campaign for students called "9-5-2-1-0 for Health". In the coming weeks, Haydon students will see posters and messages in our hallways to help promote the campaign's healthy messages. We hope students will carry home the messages about how small changes can really produce lasting results! Here is a link to the Tipping the Scales website: http://www.tippingthescales.net/

The core message for the  Tipping the Scales for Better Health Campaign   is   9 - 5 - 2 - 1 - 0 for Health . This message communicates five key behaviors which promote healthy weight and overall good health for children.

9 - Get at least nine hours of sleep per day.

Recent research has linked inadequate sleep with a higher risk for childhood obesity.  Adolescents and teens should get at least 8.5 to 9.5 hours per day, and younger children should get more.

5 - Five servings of fruits and vegetables per day

Eating five fruits and vegetables per day promotes good health and may also reduce eating of less nutritious foods which contribute to unhealthy weight gain.

2 - Limit screen time to 2 hours or less outside of school

Research links higher volumes of screen time to higher rates of obesity. Time spent in front of a screen is time not spent in physical activity, plus high doses of screen time may decrease metabolism and increase snacking.

1 - Get at least 1 hour of physical activity per day

Physical activity has many health benefits in addition to the calorie consumption needed to achieve a healthy weight.  Research shows that most kids don't get enough.

  0 - Eliminate sugar-added beverages

Natural beverages with natural sugars are fine for most children.  But too many children drink too many sugar-added beverages.  This habit increases intake of 'empty' calories and can cause other health problems.  It is recommended that children drink no or almost no beverages with sugar added.

 


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EATING WELL

 

Breakfast:  More and more students are coming to school without any food in their "tummies."  Although we realize that students may tell their parents they are not hungry in the morning, eating breakfast makes a big difference in how well students feel (and function) throughout the day.

 

 If your child is "balking at breakfast", think about trying a "creative" breakfast at home, such as pizza, nachos, pumpkin pie, or even a hearty soup.  Please also remember that we have a hot breakfast at school for $1.45.  (Breakfast costs only 30 cents for students with "reduced lunch" status and is free for students with "free lunch" status.)  See link:

http://manassascity.va.schoolwebpages.com/education/dept/dept.php?sectiondetailid=13628&

 

Fast Food in the Cafeteria:  Please help us keep with our MCPS Wellness Initiative and avoid bringing high-fat "fast food" lunches to school for your child.  If you wish to share a special lunch with your child, we suggest bringing a healthy lunch from home or having a school lunch with your child.  


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REMINDERS & TIPS

Handwashing:  Learning to wash hands and cover coughs are very important to staying healthy and preventing the spread of germs.  

Preventing Falls:  Untied shoelaces and trousers that are too long are a frequent cause of children tripping at school. Wearing a belt helps keep pants from "dragging".  Double knotting shoelaces will help them stay tied during the school day.

Chapped Lips:  Although many parents prefer that their children use Chapstick for chapped lips, a small dab of vaseline, cooking oil, butter, margarine or Crisco will also help keep dry lips from chapping. 

Hats and Gloves:  Please remind your child to wear gloves and a hat or hood during cold weather.  Remember to write your child's name on these clothing items.

 


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Website for Parents!!!

The American Academy of Pediatrics has website with all sorts of helpful information for parents about a number of different children's health issues.  The website is recommended by the Virginia Health Department.  Below is a quote and more information copied directly from the website www.healthychildren.org 

"Parents have hundreds of questions about their children's health, and they want detailed answers," said Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP, a practicing pediatrician and medical editor of HealthyChildren.org . " HealthyChildren.org empowers parents to be proactive about their children's health, whether it's learning about the vaccines their infant needs, the developmental milestones to watch for in their toddler, or how to stay connected with their teenager."

HealthyChildren.org is divided into multiple, user-friendly sections, including:

o   Ages & Stages: Information on the health issues of infants through adolescents, including interactive content on developmental milestones.

o   Healthy Living: Up-to-date guidance on fitness, sports, oral health, emotional wellness and nutrition.

o   Safety & Prevention: Preparing for health scenarios that occur at home, school and on the go, as well as in-depth information on the immunizations children need to stay healthy.

o   Health Issues: An exhaustive, A-to-Z list of more than 300 health care topics.


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IMPORTANT INFORMATION about Whooping Cough (Pertussis). According to the Virginia Dept. of Health there has been a significant increase in the number of cases of Pertussis in Virginia in the past few years, with some mild cases even occurring in fully vaccinated individualsHere are some facts about whooping cough that every parent should be aware of.

 

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that can last 6 weeks or more and can cause uncontrollable, violent coughing that makes it hard to breathe. The initial symptoms of Pertussis are similar to the common cold.Severe episodes of coughing then start 10 to 12 days later.In children, the coughing may end with a “whoop” sound (though it is important to note that the characteristic "whoop" is present in only about half the cases).Coughing spells can be severe enough that they make the child vomit.Other symptoms of Pertussis include a runny nose, diarrhea, &/or slight fever of 102 degrees or lower.Treatment for Pertussis is antibiotics, plenty of fluids, & prescription medications for the cough.

While Pertussis can affect people of all ages, we are now seeing more cases in teens & adults rather than in children.That is because children are immunized against Pertussis before entering elementary school but that protection (of early immunization) diminishes over time. (This is the reason why the Commonwealth of Virginia requires the Tdap vaccination for all rising 6thgraders.)

Please note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends a single dose of the Tdap vaccine (which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) for all individuals aged 10 – 64 years, especially for those:

·People who live with or take care of infants less than 1 year of age

·Women who might become pregnant

·New mothers – before leaving the hospital

·Healthcare personnel

 

Also, if anyone in your household has the symptoms for Pertussis, please contact your health care provider.


STREP THROAT AND SCARLET FEVER

 

During the fall and winter, we commonly see an increase in the number of cases of strep throat cases among school children and adults.  Last school year, the particular Streptococcus strain that was "going around" often caused the "strep victims" to have a rash in addition to other strep symptoms. Strep with a rash is commonly called "scarlet fever" or "scarlatina". In the vast majority of cases, it is still easily treated with appropriate antibiotics and children may return to school after at least 24 hours of antibiotics as long as they also are also fever-free and feel (relatively) well. 

 

By the way, in past years, the rash of scarlet fever usually started a few days or even a week after the other symptoms--last year, the rash was sometimes the very first symptom noticed. Please call you doctor if your child has a widespread rash, even if there is no fever, as scarlet fever can be quite serious! See http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/scarlet_fever.html