News from the Nurses Office:
Well-Child Care: A Check-Up for Success
The American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Futures guidelines recommend that children age three and beyond be seen by their primary care provider once every year for an annual health supervision visit that includes a physical exam as well as a developmental, behavioral, and learning assessment.
Information on immunization
WRS immunization rates for school year 2014-2015 are available. Click Here
For addition information please visit the Vermont Department of Heath's website. Click Here
Influenza (Seasonal Flu)
The symptoms of influenza (flu) appear suddenly and often include:
-- Fever of 100°F (37.8°C) to 104°F (40°C), which can reach 106°F (41°C) when symptoms first develop. Fever is usually continuous, but it may come and go. Fever may be lower in older adults than in children and younger adults. When fever is high, other symptoms usually are more severe.
-- Body aches and muscle pain (often severe), commonly in the back, arms, or legs.
-- Headache - Pain when you move your eyes.
--Fatigue, a general feeling of sickness (malaise), and loss of appetite.
-- A dry cough, runny nose, and dry or sore throat. You may not notice these during the first few days of the illness when other symptoms are more severe. As your fever goes away, these symptoms may become more evident.
Key Flu Indicators
Severity indicators -- like hospitalizations and deaths -- that typically lag behind illness indicators, continue to rise. Flu activity is likely to continue for some time, particularly in parts of the country that are showing recent increases in activity or have yet to experience significant activity. Anyone aged 6 months and older who has not gotten a flu vaccine yet this season should get one now. All flu vaccines are designed to protect against H1N1 viruses. It's also important that people with high risk conditions who develop flu-like symptoms consult a health care provider to see whether influenza antiviral drugs might be needed. (CDC, January 2014)
Vermont is reporting regional outbreaks of influenza. Don't wait to get a flu vaccine until it is widespread. Act now to protect yourself and family members. Contact your PCP or local hospital for an appointment or information.
Along with colds and strep throat we have seen several cases of conjunctivitis (‘pink eye’) in our population. It is helpful to identify the type as treatment will vary based on the cause. Signs of conjunctivitis include, redness in the sclera (white part of eye ball) gritty feeling in the eye, itching of the eye, blurred vision and sensitivity to light, and depending on the type, either watery discharge or thick purulent discharge that can form a crust in the eye during the night sealing the lids shut.
Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis
Viral conjunctivitis and bacterial conjunctivitis may affect one or both eyes. Viral conjunctivitis usually produces a watery discharge. Bacterial conjunctivitis often produces a thicker, yellow-green discharge. Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis can be associated with colds or with symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a sore throat.
Both viral and bacterial types are very contagious. They are spread through direct or indirect contact with the eye secretions of someone who's infected.
Adults and children alike can develop both of these types of pink eye. However, bacterial conjunctivitis is more common in children than it is in adults.
Allergic conjunctivitis affects both eyes and is a response to an allergy-causing substance such as pollen. In response to allergens, your body produces an antibody that triggers cells in the mucous lining of your eyes and airways to release inflammatory substances including histamines. Your body's release of histamine can produce a number of allergy signs and symptoms, including red or pink eyes.
The discomfort of conjunctivitis can be lessened by applying warm compresses to the affected eye or eyes. Allergic conjunctivitis is often soothed by cool compresses and antihistamine eye drops. Flushing eyes with artificial tears or sterile normal saline can be helpful. Bacterial conjunctivitis is treated with prescription antibiotic eye drops.
Exclusion from school
Our policy is to exclude children with bacterial conjunctivitis until they have been seen by their medical provider and treated with antibiotic eye drops for 24 hours.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being.
Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop and is much less painful, expensive, and worrisome than treating conditions that have been allowed to progress.
Using dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste
Making sure that your children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area.
Simple remedies often best for common colds in young children - Trisha Korioth, AAP Staff Writer
It’s late and your child is awake with a cough. What’s a tired parent to do? Over-the-counter cold medications for children under age 2 were pulled from store shelves in 2008. Little proof existed that these remedies did anything to ease the symptoms of children under age 6. In fact, studies have indicated that some simple remedies can be helpful, and many can be found in your bathroom or kitchen cabinet. Following are tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help calm your young child’s cough and cold symptoms so the whole house can sleep soundly.
Sweet dreams-Honey was found to ease nighttime coughing and sleeplessness in children ages 2 and older, according to a 2008 study. Honey can be fed safely to children over age 1, according to the AAP Nutrition Handbook. The AAP does not recommend giving honey to infants under 12 months of age because it could contain a bacterium that causes infant botulism. The AAP advises starting with ½ to 1 teaspoon as needed. If honey is not available, corn syrup may be used.
Saline solution-Saline solution offers a way to keep the tiniest noses clear. Babies can benefit from nasal washes prior to nursing or bottle feeding. Make saline solution by combining ½ teaspoon of table salt per 1 cup of tap water which has been boiled and cooled. Put two to three drops in the nostril and use a bulb syringe to suction it out. Older children also can gargle warm saline solution to ease sore throats.
Vapor rubs-For children older than age 2, topical vapor rubs can help ease chest and nose congestion. Rubs never should be given by mouth or rubbed under the nose. Follow instructions on the label and rub on the chest.
If all else fails-Consult your pediatrician if your child’s symptoms last longer than a week, he or she has a mild fever for more than two to three days (call the pediatrician right away if your infant under 2 months has a fever), your child has severe ear pain that does not go away or has a sore throat accompanied by fever and swollen neck.
© 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics. This Parent Plus may be freely copied and distributed with proper attribution.