Nurse’s Notes (June ’11)

by Annette Hanson RN, BSN, M.Ed., School Nurse

I can’t believe another school year is coming to an end and summer is fast approaching. Complaints of bug bites, poison ivy, and sunburn have replaced strep throat, gastrointestinal complaints and flu!  Here are a few tips to help make the summer months enjoyable and safe.

BIKE SAFETY: Many bike-related injuries are due to head injuries.  Children 12 and under must wear helmets when they ride.  Children should also learn the rules of the road when riding a bike, such as hand signals, which side of the road to ride on, etc.  Bikes are a means of transportation and not a toy.INSECT BITES: Bites from mosquitoes, flies, etc. can produce localized reaction at the site of the bite.  Some swelling, redness, and itching may occur.  Over the counter products for the relief of these symptoms can help.  Children do tend to scratch so watch for signs of an infection developing at the site of the bite.  A good insect repellent used on the child’s clothes can help reduce the number of bites.  Spray the repellent on clothing to lessen the amount of chemicals being absorbed by child’s body.  Also test spray the chemical since many can cause staining of clothing.

BEE, WASP, HORNET STINGS: These stings can be serious since venom can cause a severe allergic reaction.  If there are any problems with breathing and/or hives develop get immediate medical attention.  Feeling weak, vomiting, turning pale can also signal a need for medical attention.  If a stinger is left in the skin don’t squeeze the stinger on removal since this may actually cause more poison to be injected into the body.  Instead it is recommended to scrape the stinger out with your fingernail.  Cold compresses help relieve pain.  Once again ask your doctor what he recommends in treating these stings.  If your child should have a reaction this summer please alert the nurse when school starts.

SUNBURN:  Children want to be outdoors all day and a good sunblock is a must for outdoor play.  Even if your child does tan, protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays will help prevent skin cancer. The peak hours for harmful rays are between 10 AM and 3 PM.  A product with a SPF of at least 30 is recommended.  Always test a small amount of the product before use since some children may react to them.  If all else fails and mild sunburn develops cool compresses may help. If blisters occur your doctor needs to be called for advice.

SWIMMING: Adult supervision is always required for water safety.  Taking swimming lessons can help a child feel more comfortable in the water.  Children should never swim alone.  A buddy system should be encouraged.  Drowning can occur in a matter of minutes, children need to know what to do if someone is in trouble.  A water safety course is a smart investment of time.  When swimming someone in the group should know how to do CPR.

Physical exam forms have been sent home to all third grade students who have not had a physical exam in the past 4 years.  Please return completed Physical exam forms in SEPTEMBER 2011.  Also all children who have been taking medication at school this year will receive a Doctor’s order form for the 2011-12 school year.  Please return the Doctor’s order form to me at the beginning of the new school year.  The 4th grade students going to Sherwood Middle School have a medication form to return to Mrs. McCaffery the Middle School Nurse.  Remember the last day of school is Tuesday, June 21st, A HALF DAY.  Please pick up your child’s medications by that day.  The only medications I will send home with students are their inhalers.

MEDICATIONS NOT PICKED UP BY 21 June WILL BE DISCARDED. I am unable to keep medications at school over the summer months.

Thank you to all the students and parents who remembered me with flowers and notes on Teacher Appreciation Day. I love reading the notes and the flowers where lovely and brightened up my room!

At this time I want to wish the present fourth grade class the best of luck at the Sherwood Middle School.  Have a happy, healthy, safe summer and I look forward to seeing everyone this fall.

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