Nurse's Nook

Instructor: Ms. Lisa Brown, RN

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Hello, my name is Lisa Brown. I am the school nurse for Neabsco Elementary School. I have been an RN for 27 years. This is my 19th year as a school nurse with PWCS. I studied and received my nursing degree in my hometown of Queens, NY. My nursing experience includes: public health, maternal-child health, home health, pediatrics, camp nursing, mother-baby and of course, school health! I love serving our students by meeting their various health needs as well as educating students, staff and parents on various health and wellness topics. I also enjoy being a liaison between our parents and the professional medical community. At home, I am a mother of three as well as a pet mom. My hobbies include ethnic cuisine cooking, traveling, gardening and reading.



 The school health program is to support student learning in a safe, healthy environment.

You can help ensure the health and safety of all Neabsco Elementary School students by:

  • Notifying your school nurse of any health concerns or chronic health condition that may affect your child's school day.
  • Following PWCS regulations when requesting medication to be given to your child during the school day.
  • Providing current emergency contact information for your student, keeping the emergency card updated at all times.
  • Notifying school personnel if your child is absent due to a contagious illness.
  • Keeping sick students at home (see Reg. # 758-1) and supporting school staff in keeping well children in school.
  • Notifying PE teachers directly if your child has any PE restrictions.
  • Encouraging good hygiene/hand washing practices at home and school.

Clinic Announcements

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Allergies versus a Cold

You've got a runny nose, a cough, and congestion. So have you caught a cold or is it allergies? Unfortunately, it's often hard to tell — even for doctors. But here's information that may help. Read on to learn more about the causes and treatments of cold and allergy symptoms.

What Are Colds and Allergies?

Colds
 are caused by hundreds of different viruses. When one of these viruses gets into your body, your immune system attacks it. Some of the effects of this immune response are the classic symptoms of a cold, such as congestion and coughing. The germs that cause colds are contagious. You can pick them up when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or shakes hands with you. After a couple of weeks, at the most, your immune system fights off the virus and you should stop having symptoms.
Allergies
 are caused by an overactive immune system. For some reason, your body mistakes harmless substances  such as dust or pollen  for germs and attacks them. Your body releases chemicals such as histamine, just as it does when fighting a cold. This can cause swelling in your nasal passages, a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. Allergies are not contagious, although some people may inherit a tendency to develop them.

Differences Between Colds and Allergies

Characteristic Cold Allergy
Duration three-14 days Days to months  as long as you are exposed to the allergen
Time of Year Most often in the winter, but possible at any time Any time of the year  although the appearance of some allergens are seasonal
Onset of symptoms Symptoms take a few days to appear after infection with the virus. Symptoms can begin immediately after exposure to the allergen
Symptom Cold Allergy
Cough Often Sometimes
Aches Sometimes Never
Fatigue Sometimes Sometimes
Fever Rarely Never
Itchy, watery eyes Rarely Often
Sore throat Often Sometimes
Runny or stuffy nose Often; usually yellow mucus Often; usually clear mucus


Although there are some differences, cold and allergy symptoms overlap quite a bit. The most important difference is that colds usually don't last longer than 14 days. If you still have symptoms after two weeks, see your doctor. These may be allergy symptoms or a sign of another problem.

Prevention and Treatment of Colds and Allergies Because the causes of cold and allergy symptoms are quite different, preventing them requires different strategies.
To prevent allergy symptoms
, avoid substances you're allergic to, called allergens. So if you're allergic to pollen, for instance, avoid going outside on days when the pollen count is high. Here are some common allergens: · Pollen · Mold · Animal dander · Dust mites · Cockroaches
To prevent 
cold symptoms, prevent the cold-causing virus from getting into your system. Keep your distance from people who have colds. Wash your hands often. To protect others, always cover your mouth and nose (with a tissue or your sleeve, rather than your hands) when sneezing or coughing. There is no cure for either the common cold or allergies. But there are ways to ease the cold and allergy symptoms.
To treat either cold or allergy symptoms
you can try: · Antihistamines , which block the effects of histamine, a natural substance that causes symptoms such as congestion and a runny nose · Decongestants, which reduce swelling in the mucus membranes of the nasal passages, making you feel less stuffy If you have any medical problems, or take other medicines, talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medicines.


To treat allergy symptoms
, your doctor may prescribe:
   OTC allergy medication that can be given once daily at home, everyday, in the morning during seasonal trigger times.

· Nasal steroids, which reduce swelling in the nasal passages, relieving congestion and other symptoms

· Allergy shots, called immunotherapy, which involves being injected with a small amount of the substance to which you are allergic. Over time, the dose is increased. By exposing you to greater and greater amounts of the allergen, your body may develop a tolerance to it and not cause symptoms.
To treat cold symptoms
, you may also try: · Taking over-the-counter non steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as Advil or Aleve, or Tylenol, to treat fever, aches and pains · Getting extra rest · Drinking plenty of fluids


To Help Prevent Poisonings here are some tips:
Lock up medication and chemicals in a locked cabinet
Always store liquids, medications in its original container
Use child - resistant caps on medication
Poison control phone number keep near your telephone
1-800-222-1222
For more information go to www.vapoison.org


"Fight The Flu with Community Immunity"

The Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) recommends an annual flu shot for anyone over 6 months old.  The Health Department encourages everyone that is eligible for the flu vaccine to get one because this will extend protection to those who cannot get the flu vaccine.  In effect achieve "Community Immunity". (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm) 

Flu Facts:
The flu vaccine is the best way to fight the flu
It is Safe and effective
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Cannot cause the flu

Fight the Flu:
Cover your sneezes and coughs Wash your hands
Stay home from school when you are sick
Annual flu vaccine

imageLyme Disease What is Lyme disease? Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi.   How is Lyme disease spread? The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are transmitted through the bites of infected ticks. In the Eastern U.S., the only tick known to spread Lyme disease is the black-legged tick (formerly called the “deer tick”). Spread of the Lyme disease bacteria from an infected tick to a person is not likely to occur unless the tick has been attached to the person’s body for at least 36 hours. Lyme disease is not known to be spread to humans from other insects or animals, or from one person to another. It occurs most commonly during the late spring and early summer months, but can occur during the fall and winter.   What are the symptoms of Lyme disease? Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.   How is Lyme disease diagnosed and treated? Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. How can Lyme disease be prevented? Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well. Where can I get more information about Lyme disease?

Fact Sheet http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/   image

Pertussis ( Whooping Cough)

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. It begins with mild cold symptoms and gradually progresses for the next week or two, and can further progress into repeated attacks of severe coughing that can last a month or longer. The classic “whoop” sound may or may not occur in young infants, adolescents and adults. Pertussis can occur at any age, but it is most often diagnosed in young children. The total course of the disease is from six to 10 weeks. Pertussis is transmitted by direct contact with discharge from the nose or throat of an infected person or by breathing in infected droplets in the air where an infected person coughs. The incubation period ranges from seven to 20 days.   If your child develops any symptoms lasting longer than one-to-two weeks or has repeated attacks of severe coughing, please contact your physician or the Prince William County Health District at 703.791.6300.   This is a good opportunity to remind everyone regarding simple steps that you can take to keep your family healthy. These include:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water. Clean hands with an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your sleeve or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Avoid close contact with those who have symptoms of illness.
  • If you need to seek care for you or your child, please call ahead to your health care provider’s office and tell them what symptoms you have so they can see you quickly and prevent exposing other people in the waiting room.
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Fun In The Sun
Remember to follow these recommendations from the American Cancer Society as you enjoy the sun this summer.
1.  Avoid long periods outside in intense sunlight ( between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
2.  If going outside, wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or more and cover up with clothing, hats and sunglasses
3.  Stay out of tanning booths
4.  Check your skin regularly for any suspicious blemishes, spots or moles image

Volunteering

If you would like to volunteer in the clinic please email the nurse at brownlj@pwcs.edu .
May is Blood Pressure Awareness Month
Did you know more than 1 out of every 10 Americans has high blood pressure. Many of those who have high blood pressure do not know it. This is a uniquely silent disease. There are no symptoms until it is too late; the catastrophe of a heart attack or stroke is all too often the first indication of a problem.
Because high blood pressure is silent and can be treated effectively, early detection (hoimageme management) is important.
The blood pressure reading has two numbers. The higher one is the systolic pressure and the lower is diastolic pressure. Blood pressure is considered to be high if the higher number exceeds 140 or the lower number exceeds 90. The "normal" blood pressure should be around 120 systolic and diastolic  80,  Generally, the lower the blood pressure, the better. Low readings are usually found in youngsters and in older people who are in excellent physical condition.

The most important thing to realize is that you must manage this problem yourself. It will be up to you to control your weight, your exercise, your salt intake, and to take your medicines. It should be up to you to take your own blood pressure. Your doctor should be your trusted adviser but cannot assume your responsibility. No matter how much the doctor would like to take care of this for you, he or she cannot. If you are going to manage this problem, you need the blood pressure readings so that you can report changes or difficulties to the doctor. You are in control, and good doctors will emphasize this point.

National Poison Prevention Week March 18-24
imageMany children are involved in accidental poisonings each year
Adults have been known to make mistakes with medicines and chemicals. 
To Help Prevent Poisonings here are some tips:
Lock up medication and chemicals in a locked cabinet
Always store liquids, medications in its original container
Use child - resistant caps on medication
Poison control phone number keep near your telephone
1-800-222-1222
For more information go to www.vapoison.org

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February is Heart Health Month
Before I can talk about how to protect your heart, I need to talk about heart attack. 

A heart attack is sudden - causes of heart attack are not.  Years of unhealthy heart habits suddenly, unexpectedly catch up with you.  Anywhere! Anytime! A diseased heart is like a ticking time bomb. 
Technically, a heart attack occurs when the supply of nutrient- rich blood to the heart muscle is reduced or stopped.  If the blood supply is shut down for a long time, muscle cells die from lack of oxygen.  If enough cells die, the victim will die.  Often, only a small part of the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen so the victim can recover.

 

Signs and Symptoms:
  • Chest pain radiates to jaw and down left arm
  • Crushing, stabbing, pressure feeling in chest
  • Some people say it feels like an "elephant on my chest"
  • Sweaty, nausea and lightheaded-ness can occur

Call 911 if chest pain longer than 5 minutes. Have person sit down and rest until EMS arrives

Now to Protect the heart
Watch your weight
Exercise by walking, playing, dancing, swimming, sports 
Keep cholesterol low
No smoking
Eat a healthy diet:  Whole grain foods, low fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, beans, fish, lentils
                             Serve reasonably sized portions
                             Drink lots of water   
                             Limit sugar and sugar sweeten drinks                     

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February is Children's Dental Health Month
February is Children’s Dental Health Month and a great reminder to make an appointment with your dentist for this year’s check- up and cleaning. Good oral hygiene is very important to your overall health and key to a great smile! Tooth decay happens when foods containing sugars and starches such as milk, sodas, raisins, cakes or candy are left on the teeth. Bacteria love this environment and go to work on your precious tooth enamel and gums. The acids they produce can also lead to bad breath and no one wants that! Tips for Teens  
Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and use floss to clean between your teeth where food hides. It only takes a few minutes a day. See your dentist at least once a year for a dental exam and professional cleaning. Sealants may be applied to protect tooth surfaces. Avoid tobacco products that increase your risk of periodontal disease and cancer of the mouth and throat plus stain your teeth. Stop chewing hard objects like ice or pencils that could crack a tooth. Wear a mouth guard when playing active sports. image
Cover Your Cough / Cold and Flu Season
Stop the spread of Germs!!!!!!
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough or use your upper sleeve.
Clean Your Hands after coughing or sneezing. 
Wash hands with soap and water for 20 sec or clean with alcohol- based hand cleaner.
MENINGITIS
VOICES OF MENINGITIS
Is a Meningococcal Disease Prevention Campaign form the National Association of School Nurses in collaboration with Sanoti Pasteur

What is meningococcal meningitis?  Meningococcal disease, which includes meningitis, isimage a serious bacterial infection that strikes between 1000 to 2600 Americans each year.  Although rare, meningococcal disease can cause meningitis (swelling of the brain or spinal cord) or meningococcemia (blood infection).  Vaccination is a safe and effective way to help protect preteens and teens from this potentially devastating disease. 

To Get The Facts go to VoicesOfMenignitis.org for more information Files

                                   PWCS HEALTH AND MED FORMS

Reg 757-2 -Management of Allergic Reactions in the School Setting/Administration of Epinephrine

Reg. 757-6 - Diabetic Health Tx plan

Reg 757-3 - Attachment I - Emergency Treatment Plan Form (PDF)

Reg 757-4 - Attachment I - Medication Authorization form for OTC and Rx meds (PDF)

Asthma Action Plan and Attachment I of Reg 757-5 - both required
Asthma Action Plan (PDF) (new/revised as of 8/2015)
Please also complete Attachment I- Waiver of liability (757-5) (PDF) - must be submitted with completed asthma action plan

 



Reg. 753.01-1

Scoliosis Information