Thursday, November 19, 2015

Head Lice

Unfortunately we have had a few cases of head lice in the elementary and middle schools. The presence of head lice is in no way a reflection upon a person’s personal hygiene or cleanliness.  This condition is found wherever large groups gather and can be picked up in any place upon contact with a person having head lice.  This blog is to make you aware rather than alarmed.

As a parent you can help to prevent the further spread of head lice by checking your child’s hair daily for the presence of lice or nits on the hair.  The eggs or nits attach themselves firmly to single strands of hair and may be white or brown in color.  They are commonly found at the hairline and near the base of the neck.  Watch for evidence of itching. Also, encourage your child to refrain from sharing hats or combs with other students.

Treatment is necessary before returning to school if any head lice or nits are found.  There are numerous products available for the treatment of this condition.  Your physician or pharmacist can recommend a suitable product for you.  Keep in mind that shampooing with regular shampoo is not enough.  A fine tooth comb must be used daily to remove all of the nits.  If not removed, they can hatch.  Hair should then be shampooed daily with regular shampoo followed by a hair conditioner daily.  Conditioning makes the hair slippery and difficult for the eggs to be attached.  After 7 days, a 2nd lice shampoo application is necessary. It is recommended to wash all bedding, stuffed animals, hats and coats and dry them in a dryer.

Julie Paulsen, RN-C

Chicken Pox

Roosevelt Elementary has had a confirmed case of chicken pox (Varicella) in the building.  While most students are vaccinated against Varicella before entering kindergarten, it is still possible to contract the disease, although unlikely.  Usually if the disease is contracted, the symptoms are milder than if not vaccinated.  A letter was sent home to all elementary families informing them of the positive case of chicken pox.

Symptoms of Varicella (Chicken Pox) include:
1. Elevated temperature
2. Cold or runny nose
3. Small red pustules that appear on all parts of the body
4. Headache
5. General discomfort or not feeling well
The incubation period for Varicella is 14 to 21 days (this means from the time your child was exposed it will be 14 to 21 days before the child may show symptoms of the disease).  Not all students who are exposed will get the disease. Occasionally a child will get Chicken Pox more than once.
If your child does contract chicken pox, please inform the staff at the school your child is attending.

**Students with chicken pox must remain out of school at least 5 days from the onset of the pocks or until all pocks are completely dry, whichever comes first.

Julie Paulsen, RN-C

From the Nurse's Office

Hello from the Cherokee School Nurse's Office.  I have had a busy start to the 2015 school year.  I am currently working to prepare for the immunization audit through public health.  We have seen strep throat, stomach flu, and conjunctivitis (pink eye) already this year in all of the buildings.  Please call me if you have any health concerns with your son/daughter.



Cherokee school district illness policy:  

  • Fever 100.0 or greater
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
If your son/daughter has any of these symptoms, they are required to stay home from school and activities for 24 hours after the symptoms have gone away, without the use of over the counter medications.

Influenza is a contagious illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year.

The symptoms of influenza include:

  • Fever (usually high)
  • Headache
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur but are more common in children than adults.

    How does the flu spread?

Flu viruses mainly spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

What should I do if I get sick?

Most healthy people recover from the flu without complications. If you get the flu:
  • Stay home
  • Get lots of rest, drink plenty of liquids, and avoid using alcohol and tobacco
  • There are over-the-counter (OTC) medications to relieve the symptoms of the flu (but never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptom, particularly fever)
  • Remember that serious illness from the flu is more likely in certain groups of people including people 65 and older, pregnant women, people with certain chronic medical conditions and young children
  • Consult your doctor early for the best treatment, but also be aware of emergency warning signs that require urgent medical attention

How can I stop the spread of germs?

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often using soap for at least 15-20 seconds.
  • Throw away tissues after using them.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when soap and water are not available.
  • Clean commonly used surfaces often (e.g., desks, handrails, doorknobs).
  • Avoid close contact.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.