Welcome to the Health Office
Weekly Update as of 1/18/2019 - Newly Posted "Sick Day Guidelines"
Please see these guidelines concerning when to keep your child home from school. They are posted on the Health Office website.
Happy New Year! Please stay tuned for details regarding Smith School's celebration of our "Classroom Close-Up NJ" program that aired in November and December. Here is a link to the 8 minute program.
Over the past week, student absence due to illness increased. Two students and one staff member tested positive for the flu. Seven students were treated for strep throat, fourteen students were absent due to viral upper respiratory illness, and ten students were absent with gastrointestinal illness (vomiting and diarrhea). Other absences were not related to illness. No cases of head lice were detected or reported.
Give Kids a Smile Program
Every February, dentists throughout New Jersey offer free dental care for children ages 12 and younger. In 2019, Give Kids a Smile Day is Friday, February 1st. There are over 100 participating dental offices available for parents to schedule an appointment at a location of their choice. Please see flyer in this week's Friday Folder for further information.
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.
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 2018-19 flu season. Please remember it's not too early 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 now. 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 SchoolJohnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow201-358-4796