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Health Office

The Ray School has a program of comprehensive school health, the goal of which is to promote healthy lifestyle practices. Through the Health Office, we conduct annual screenings for hearing and vision. An influenza immunization clinic is offered each year allowing students to receive a free flu vaccine during the school day.

The Health Office is open full time for assessment and decision-making in the treatment of any injuries or illnesses which occur at school. I am always available to discuss any health concerns or changing needs of your child. Please feel free to call or drop in any time.

The elementary school years are an important time for the development of healthy lifestyle practices. Children learn healthy behaviors through physical education, the lunch room, our guidance program and through observation of the many adults at the Ray School.

IMMUNIZATION

NH Immunization Requirements 2018-19 School Year

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Immunization Department has very clear requirements for children enrolled in public school. You can find these requirements here.

Varicella (Chicken Pox) seems to be the immunization that has the most questions. In the State of NH you can no longer report chicken pox disease as proof of immunity. For our elementary school population you need to have either two doses of the varicella vaccine OR have laboratory confirmation of immunity (a blood test).

If you have any questions regarding immunizations please contact me in the health office.

ALLERGIES

How a child might describe an allergic reaction:

  • This food is too spicy.
  • My tongue is hot (or burning).
  • It feels like something’s poking my tongue.
  • My tongue (or mouth) is tingling (or burning).
  • My tongue (or mouth) itches.
  • My tongue feels like there is hair on it.
  • My tongue/mouth feels funny.
  • My tongue feels full (or heavy).
  • There’s a frog in my throat.
  • My lips feel tight.
  • It feels like there are bugs in my ears (itchy ears).
  • My throat feels thick.
  • It feels like a bump is on the back of my tongue (throat).

Young children may put their hands in their mouths or pull or scratch at their tongues.

Children’s voices may change (ie: become hoarse or squeaky).

Children may slur their words.

HEAD LICE

Head Lice

The Hanover School District is committed to maximizing students’ academic performance and physical well being in a healthy and safe environment. The District recognizes that head lice do not pose a health hazard, are not a sign of uncleanliness, and are not responsible for the spread of disease. An evidence based approach to head lice will reduce unnecessary absence from school, limit embarrassment of students, decrease unnecessary exposure to potentially toxic chemicals used to treat head lice, and calm anxiety on the part of parents and school staff. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Nurses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Harvard School of Public Health have all recommended that students with nits and/or live lice not be excluded from school.

Based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Board recognizes that school-wide screening for nits alone is not an accurate way of predicting which children will become infested with head lice, and screening for live lice has not been proven to have a significant decrease on the incidence of head lice in a school community and is not recommended. Research indicates that education of parents in identifying and managing head lice is more effective.

The District defines a healthy and safe environment as one in which adults work together to provide the following environmental factors established by current research and accepted practice as necessary for the health and well being of students with head lice, their classmates and other students and adults at the school:

  • Educating staff, students and parents/guardians about head lice.
  • Establishing evidence based management for students with head lice.
  • Respecting student confidentiality

Helpful Resources

INFLUENZA

Flu Vaccination

While it is best to get the flu vaccine before flu activity begins in the community, it is not too late. A flu vaccine is the first step in preventing the flu. Flu vaccine benefits:

  • Can prevent you from getting sick from the flu.
  • Can reduce the risk of flu associated hospitalization.
  • Important for people with chronic health conditions.
  • Can lessen the symptoms if you contract the flu.

Flu Prevention Steps

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical or for other necessities.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

CONCUSSIONS

Concussion

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sno_0Jd8GuA - this 30 second video, from the CDC, demonstrates what is happening to the brain when you experience the forces that can cause concussion.

  • A brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. It is also called MTBI (mild traumatic brain injury).
  • "Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth." - www.cdc.gov
  • Loss of conciousness is NOT necessary for a concussion diagnosis
  • Most people completely recover within two weeks following physical and cognitive (thinking) skills rest (for at least the first few days). However, some people may take much longer to recover. It is believed that children take longer to recover from concussion than adults.
  • A concussion is not able to be seen on standard neuroimaging (e.g. CT scans) because it is a functional disturbance rather than a structural injury.

Information from www.biavt.org Brain Injury Association of Vermont

Prevention in Children

  • Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle
  • Wearing a helmet, and making sure children wear a helmet when:
    • riding a bike or scooter
    • playing a contact sport
    • using in-line skates or skateboard
    • batting in baseball or softball
    • riding a horse
    • skiing or snowboarding
  • Making living areas safe for children
  • Making sure the surface on your child's playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as mulch or sand

Signs and Symptoms

Thinking Remembering

Physical

Emotional Mood

Sleep

Difficulty thinking clearly

Headache

Fuzzy or blurry vision

Irritability

Sleeping more than usual

Feeling slowed down

Nausea or Vomiting

Dizziness

Sadness

Sleep less than usual

Difficulty concentrating

Sensitivity to noise or light

Balance problems

More emotional

Trouble falling asleep

Difficulty remembering new information

Feeling tired

Having no energy

Nervousness or anxiety


(taken from http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/signs_symptoms.html)

If your child sustains a concussion he/she should be seen by a health care professional. They will give you instructions/recommendations that will allow your child's brain time to heal. This may be physical and cognitive (thinking) rest. Modifications may need to be made to your child's academic day at school. I can help coordinate any accommodations that need to be made. Please be sure to let me know if your child sustains a concussion or if you have any questions.

Returning to Learn - After a concussion, cognitive (thinking) rest is needed for recovery. Limiting brain activity is important to keep concussion signs from coming back or getting worse. Ways to limit brain activity includes reduction of screen time - television, video games, computer time. Some students may need gradual return to academics with modifications in the school day. See the link below that outlines the recommended steps to return to learning.

Return to Learn Protocol

Laura Perras

FAQ

My Child is ill - when should I keep them home?

A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal or greater than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not have a thermometer signs of a fever may include chills, feeling very warm, flushed appearance or sweating.

Following a fever, children should not come to school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours. The fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin (Ibuprofen).

Children who have been vomiting or sick in the night should not come to school the next day.

Children with a strep throat infection should be on antibiotics for 24 hours before returning to school.