Welcome to the Health Office
Weekly Update as of 11/15/2019
I hope that your children are having a productive school year! I am happy to report that I have returned to my office at Smith School. If you need to contact me, please email me at email@example.com. All Kindergarten and New Student Physical Examination forms, Immunization forms, and Questionnaires are due NOW. All completed Food Allergy Packets, Medication Administration forms, and other medical plans/forms are due NOW. If you need to bring in medication for your child, please remember to complete all paperwork and contact me to plan for drop off. Our Food Allergy Guidelines were revised and approved over the summer. Please be sure to view them. I look forward to seeing you soon!
Over the past week, student absence due to illness remained the same as last week. One student was absent with viral gastrointestinal llness, two students were treated for strep throat, and three students were absent with upper respiratory infections. No cases of flu have been reported. Other reasons for absence were varied and not related to contagious illnesses.
Please remember it's not too early to get the flu shot!
Please be aware that 4 students in our school were treated for pediculosis (head lice) over the past 3 weeks. One of these students is in 3rd grade and three students are in 1st grade. The 2 most recent cases were reported to me on 11/4/19. Please be assured that all district policies are being closely followed. It is critical to remember that I can only provide an accurate update and respond appropriately when contagious problems, such as head lice, are reported directly to me or the substitute nurse covering my office. See this link to our district policy and read below for further information regarding pediculosis.
Pediculosis (Head Lice)
In our ongoing efforts to minimize the spread of pediculosis (head lice), please be vigilant about checking your child's scalp on a regular basis. It is critical to remember that treatment should only be performed if active head lice and/or nits are found and treatment should not be applied as a preventative measure. As always, with contagious issues, it is imperative that you notify me if you find active head lice and/or nits in your child's scalp. Adhering to this practice promotes my ability to minimize the spread by screening others who may have been exposed as well notifying our parent community. All information is kept in strictest confidence. Please see this link for evidence-based information concerning its management. There is additional information under the "Pediculosis (Head Lice) Management" tab on this website. Parents are strongly encouraged to become familiar with our district policy related to pediculosis.
AUDIOMETRIC (HEARING) SCREENING FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES 1-4 TOOK PLACE ON THURSDAY, 10/3/19. KINDERGARTEN AND ABSENT STUDENTS WILL BE SCREENED LATER IN THE SCHOOL YEAR. VISION SCREENING FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES K-4 TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, 10/15/19. STUDENTS WHO WERE ABSENT WILL BE SCREENED LATER IN THE YEAR. The results of both screenings are being confirmed and notification to parents will be posted within the next few weeks. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any concerns.
Please follow this link for accurate information concerning Measles and how to protect your family.
Medical Updates and Communicable Issues
Please notify me if your child has any communicable illness/issue (strep throat, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, MRSA skin infections, impetigo, pink eye, flu, head lice, etc.). Sharing this information is critical since it promotes my ability to keep you informed as to health-related concerns in our school community. As always, such information is kept in strictest confidence. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT STUDENTS MUST BE FEVER-FREE (and not taking fever-reducing medications) FOR 24 HOURS BEFORE RETURNING TO SCHOOL.
Do You Need a Medical or Dental Home?
If so, please see this link for free or affordable medical and/or dental care for your whole family.
Healthy School Snacks and Lunches
Please see this link from The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding nutritious school snacks and lunches.Seasonal Flu InformationPlease see attached link to the CDC website for general information specific to the 2019-20 flu season. Please remember it's not too late to get vaccinated!Handwashing, Handwashing, Handwashing! You can help us limit the spread of illnesses by encouraging your family members to wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing. Washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds is ideal. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective. Remember to keep hands away from the face and avoid touching the mouth, nose, and eyes. Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or cough into the inside of the elbow. Stay home when sick.Please remember to review handwashing with your children. Specifically, be sure that they know HOW to wash, rinse, and dry; WHEN to wash, and WHY washing is important. Sending a hand wipe or hand sanitizer for use prior to snack and lunch should be considered and serves as an adjunct to washing with soap and water. Please know that the school will reinforce this practice with your children. As we all know, handwashing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infection.Permanent Medication Drop Box in the BoroughThe borough of Hillsdale is very fortunate to have a permanent medication disposal drop box. It is located in the Hillsdale Police Department’s lobby and can be accessed 24/7/365. Please utilize it on a regular basis and encourage your family, friends and neighbors to do the same. Why is this important? The nationwide heroin epidemic is linked to easy access to prescription opioids in homes. Across the country, efforts to address this epidemic are taking place at all levels: in homes, communities, and with prescribers. In Hillsdale, our School Health Leadership Team has been working with community stakeholders to intervene earlier to minimize substance abuse through education, appropriate disposal of ALL unused and expired medications, and the establishment of partnerships that will promote healthy decision making. What can you do? Please work with us as we do our best to keep our entire community safe. Stay tuned for future information concerning this issue and visit www.americanmedicinechest.com to learn more and take the 5 step American Medicine Chest Challenge pledge.Parents of Kindergarten, New, and 3rd Grade StudentsPlease remember to submit all physicals and immunization forms per district policy. For Kindergarten and new students, a physical examination is required. For 3rd grade students, a physical examination is strongly recommended. Please keep this in mind as you schedule your child's medical appointments.Medication AdministrationPlease remember that all medication administration forms must be updated annually and signed by both the physician and a parent. This applies to prescription and OTC medications.Health InsuranceIf you are interested in obtaining information about NJ Family Care, New Jersey's affordable health insurance plan, please contact me or visitRose Catton, MSN, RN, NJ-CSNSchool Nurse, Ann Blanche Smith SchoolTreasurer, New Jersey State School Nurses AssociationJohnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow201-358-4796