There has been very little ilness going on at Onondaga Road since we came back from the February break. There are just a few students with stomach aches, headaches, colds, fevers and strep. We are a pretty healthy bunch right now!
Doctor Scialdone will be at Onondaga Road on April 5 to do physicals on all 2nd and 4th graders who do not have a current physical on file and do not have a scheduled appointment with their doctor. Letters to these parents were sent out on Monday.
The groundwork for a lifetime of healthy or unhealthy eating habits is influenced every day by what your child has for lunch. In bag lunches chips are a daily item for many students. This is an excellent place to cut fat and calories because foods like potato chips and corn chips do not provide significant nutritional benefits. Make chips an occasional treat in the lunch bag instead. Buy the smallest bags possible. A one ounce bag of Lay's potato chips has 150 calories. A 'grab' size has 274 calories. Children buying lunch in the cafeteria get about Â½ their daily calorie needs met by that one meal. Buying and eating doubles provides too many calories and sometimes the child ends up in the Health Office with a stomach ache! Small changes are easy to make and may even go unnoticed, but they really add up.
We are seeing quite a few students with the stomach bug. There have also been sore throats, some strep and some viral, and a few cases of flu. Good handwashing and covering coughs are still the first line of prevention. Consider switching to paper towels temporarily when a family member is sick. The whole family should wash their hands every time they come into the house. Wash gloves and hats frequently. Spring will be here soon!
If a student needs to wear a brace, cast, or splint in school a physician's order is required in writing. The order must specify the length of time the student will use the brace, cast or splint, and the duration of time to be excused from gym class. The same policy applies to the use of crutches. Use of just one crutch is not permitted. Students with crutches should not ride the bus. The doctor's orders can be brought in or faxed to the school at 315-487-2598. This is not a new district policy. It is just appearing here as a reminder.
If your child arrives at school after 9:10 a.m. an adult must accompany them to the Health Office to get a pass. This insures their safety and that their attendance is correctly recorded. Please call the Health Office each day that your child will be tardy or absent to avoid an interrupting call from the nurse. There is voicemail on 24/7.
Students turning 11 or entering 6th grade must have a Tdap vaccine. (This is different from the Dtaps they have already had.) Ask to have this done when you take your 5th grader in for their physical, and they will be ready for 6th grade.
Physicals will be done at school by Dr. Scialdone for all kindergarteners, 2nd graders and 4th graders who do not have a current physical or date of upcoming physical on file in the Health Office. A letter was mailed out in January to all those still needing physicals. Thank you to all those who responded.
With the February break coming up next week, some families will be traveling to warmer climates. If you are headed to Florida or other areas south, remember that Zika virus is still a threat in some places. Check with your doctor about what precautions you should take. Also, remember to use lots of sunscreen on the whole family. Even one severe sunburn increases the risk for skin cancer later on.
There are quite a few students absent right now with bad colds, coughs, sore throats, and fevers. Others are home with vomiting and diarrhea. We are still seeing a few new cases of strep throat too. Please call the Health Office (487-4655) each morning when your child will be absent, and send a note with them when they return to school. Children should be free from vomiting, diarrhea, and fevers (without use of fever reducing medications) for 24 hours before returning to school so they feel well enough to be here and so they don't pass their germs along to other students and staff.
There are still many 2nd and 4th graders who do not have current physicals on file at school. This is a requirement of the NYS Department of Education. Please send them in ASAP.
Winter is time for staying indoors with hot chocolate and cookies, right? Well, maybe every now and then. Although most children are used to them, sweet treats are not needed every day. Citrus fruits are in season and provide lots of vitamins. Try canned fruit packed in fruit juice instead of heavy syrup. Cut up veggies, with or without low fat dip, are a better choice than chips. Keep portions of snacks and desserts small. If you don't use skim milk, consider heading in that direction. Change from whole milk to 2%, then to 1%, then to skim milk. It makes the transition easier. Skim milk is higher in protein and contains no fat.
Take a walk with your children on a snowy evening. It makes a familiar place hushed, beautiful, and different.
Students may keep lip balm in their lockers to use during the day. Please send one in with your child. Lips get cracked and chapped in this cold weather.
Quite a few students have coughs and colds right now. We are also seeing sore throats, and a few have been diagnosed with strep throat. As usual, a few students are home with the stomach bug, but not many, currently. We have had no confirmed cases of the flu yet at Onondaga Road.
With the cold weather, students visit the nurse frequently for treatment of lips that are chapped or even split from being out in the cold. To avoid this, they may have lip balm at school and keep it in their locker or backpack. No parent or doctor's note is needed.
If your cell, home, or work number or address has changed, please contact the Main Office at 315-487-4653 to advise them of the updates.
www.kidsjokesoftheday.com Laughter provides quick stress relief!
Please remember to send winter jackets, snow pants, boots, hats, and gloves to school with your children all winter. They will have outdoor recess in all but the coldest weather. Encourage outdoor play at home too. It is easy, free, and has many benefits! Call the Health Office if you are unable to obtain the necessary warm clothing. We may be able to help.
Wishing you joy and peace and love this holiday season!
Kathy Nason RN
We had quite a few cases of Coxsackie virus over the past month, but not as many this week. There have only been a few children out with illnesses this week! What we are seeing is the stomach bug with vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. A few children have colds, and a few have had sports injuries, so play safely!
Students turning 11 or entering 6th grade must have a Tdap vaccine. Ask to have this done when you take your 5th grader in for their physical, and they will be ready for 6th grade. One dose of meningococcal vaccine is required for entering 7th grade, and a booster will be needed by 12th grade. It is an important vaccine at this age when teens may be living in close quarters at camp or in dorms where the meningococcal virus is easily spread.
Two great websites for kids' health and fitness are kidnetic.com and pbskids.org/Arthur/health/fitness. Many elementary school children struggle with being overweight. It is never too early to learn that healthy eating is delicious and makes you feel good. In addition, exercise boosts fitness, reduces stress, and helps with weight control. Children should have an hour or more a day of physical activity. Play can be good exercise, and in elementary school that's the best kind!
It is hard to believe, but soon we will be having snow and freezing temperatures! Remember to send in warm coats, boots, hats, gloves, and snow pants for your child to wear during outdoor playtime. It is a good idea to leave an extra pair of snow pants at school so they do not have to be carried back and forth.
To have a safe Halloween, make sure that children can see well if they are wearing masks. Supervise trick or treating and have children go to the houses of neighbors you know. Check candy that is collected and throw away any thing that is unwrapped or with an open wrapper, or that just doesn't look right for any reason. If you allow them to bring candy to school, please limit it to 1 or 2 pieces a day. Have some fun and stay healthy!
So far, sore throats, fevers, strep throats, stomach illness, Coxackie Virus, and seasonal allergies are keeping students home. Good hand washing is still an important way to stay healthy. Have children wash their hands when they get home from school and before eating. Keeping sick children home also keeps the other students and staff healthy. Children must be free from fever, vomiting, and diarrhea for 24 hours without medications. They should be on any prescribed antibiotic for 24 hours before returning to school. In both cases, the child should also feel well enough to be at school before returning. Viral illnesses cannot be treated with antibiotics. They are still contagious and can cause pain, fatigue, and other symptoms that are severe enough to keep a child at home.
Having a routine at home will help the whole family during the busy school year. Schedule homework time, eat dinner together as often as possible, and don't forget to schedule in outdoor playtime and parent-child time every day. Having a short routine leading up to bedtime is helpful - brush teeth, read a story together, lights out. Elementary school children need 9-12 hours of sleep every night. Getting enough sleep has been linked to doing well in school. The world is changing quickly, but the things that keep a body healthy remain the same.
Cough drops are an over-the-counter medication. For your child to use them at school you must provide a doctor's order and a note of permission from the parent/guardian. The cough drops must be kept in the Health Office and given by the nurse. They must always be delivered to the nurse by an adult.
Dr. Brown is putting focus this year on the importance of students being at school, being on time, and staying for the entire day. Good attendance is an excellent way to help your child to get the most out of school and to keep their grades up. Remember to call the Health Office whenever your child is absent, and follow up with a written excuse the next day.
Thank you to all the K, 2nd, and 4th grade parents who have sent in current physicals for their children. They are required for these grades. Quite a few have not yet been received. Please send them in ASAP to avoid letters/e-mails/phone calls from the nurse! Physicals must have been done since 9/8/15 to be considered current.
At Onondaga Road we are still seeing some stomach bug, as we have seen all year. Other illnesses still in the mix are fever of unknown origin, and flu. Insect bites are the number one reason for trips to the Health Office recently, and I have noticed many children with sunburn. Protect your child daily with sunscreen, and with insect repellent when you know they will be spending time outside.
If your child has a medication at school, please plan to pick it up by the end of the school day on June 22. If you are not able to do this, call the Health Office and set up another time with the nurse. ALL REMAINING MEDICATIONS WILL BE DISPOSED OF. They may not be left at school during the summer.
If your child had a Care Plan this year (for asthma, diabetes, seizures, or allergies), I will send you new forms for parent permission and doctor's orders to have filled out during the summer. They must be done over each year. You can fax or mail them to the school. Care Plans also need to be updated and signed every year. Please plan to stop in to school the last week in August for this.
If your child has a physical this summer and is entering grades K, 2, or 4th grade, send a copy to the school or have it faxed from you doctor's office. Fax 487-2598. New York State requires that proof of a physical be provided to the school in these grades.
Students who are 11 years of age and going into 6th grade must have a Tdap vaccine before school starts in September. For children who will not turn 11 until after school starts, it must be given by their 11th birthday. The Tdap protects your child from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough.) It also prevents them from passing these serious illnesses on to young babies and others who are not yet vaccinated.
The basics that you remember are still important in the summer! Water safety-never leave a child unattended in a pool. Watch them yourself, even if there is a lifeguard. Review bike safety rules and ALWAYS wear a helmet when riding. That goes for skateboards, too, and adults, too. Spend a little bit of time doing something your child chooses. Focus on them, listen, and get to know each other. Whether you share 10 minutes or a half a day, make it a habit. It's the best investment you will ever make. Enjoy!
All the routine vision, hearing, and scoliosis screenings have been completed for the year at Onondaga Road. Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders have had their vision and hearing checked. Second graders have had their vision tested. Fifth graders have been checked for scoliosis at school if their doctor did not indicate on their physical form that they had already been checked.
All of these screenings are done as required by New York State. When the results from any screening did not fall within the prescribed normal range, the parent/guardian was notified by a letter sent home with the child. Additional screenings can be done at the request of the teacher or parent. If you have any questions about your child's hearing, vision, or scoliosis screening, please call me and we can discuss their results.
We are already seeing seasonal allergies starting. Strep throat, coughs, stomach bug and the flu, pink eye, and ear infections are all still being seen at Onondaga Road as well. Please be courteous and do not send your child to school if they are ill. Spring has not yet brought an end to the illnesses we expect to see in winter, and they are passed very easily from person to person!
With the April break and Summer vacation coming up, many of our Onondaga Road families will be traveling. Please be aware that the Zika virus is widespread in warm climates and the danger during pregnancy is significant. The West Genesee web page has a link with information about the Zika virus.
Your own physician is also a good resource and can give you recommendations on your personal situation. It is a good idea for everyone to wear sunscreen when they are out of doors to protect their skin from sun damage. Students may carry and use over the counter sunscreen in school with written permission from the parent. No note from the doctor is required. Notes should be brought to the Health Office. Children may only use their own sunscreen and may not share.
Several illnesses are being seen at Onondaga Road this week. We have had some cases of the flu, some cases of conjunctivitis (pink eye), headaches with fevers, coughs and colds, and strep throat, and the stomach bug. Remind your child to wash their hands frequently and keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth to help prevent the spread of infection.
If your child has a sore throat that is red and painful, it could be strep throat. Strep throat may also be accompanied by fever, rash, stomach ache, or body aches. Testing for strep is done in the doctor's office with a throat swab. The rapid test results take only a few minutes. A culture is usually sent to a lab if the rapid test is negative, and results take two days. These results are sometimes positive even though the rapid results were negative. Strep is a bacterial infection that is treated with antibiotics. Children may return to school after 24 hours on an antibiotic as long as they have been fever free for at least 24 hours and feel good enough to attend.
A sore throat caused by a virus is also painful and contagious. A child with a viral sore throat may be too ill to attend school because of pain or fever. A viral infection cannot be treated with antibiotics.
Coming to school on an empty stomach can make it hard to do your best in the classroom! Even if you run out of time in the morning to sit at the table and eat together, make sure your child gets something nutritious to eat. A granola bar on the way to the bus stop or a toaster waffle and juice box in the car will go a long way to helping them last until lunch. Keep something handy to eat on the run - it's good for parents too!
For most of us, adults and children alike, the holidays are a joyful, happy time, full of fun! Holidays can also be mixed with a dose of stress. Changes in routines, parties, days off from school, expectations and anticipation can cause children and adults some unforeseen stress. So take a deep breath and relax for a few minutes. Remind yourself take care of your health, and stick to daily routines at home as much as possible. Give yourself permission to cut things in half - the number of gifts, the number of places you go, even the number of goodies you were going to eat!
One especially important thing you can do during the holidays and every day is to model for your child positive character traits. Thank the cashier, wait patiently, treat your child with respect, and smile at a stranger. Your child looks up to you more than you know, so modeling positive character traits and acceptance is helpful. For the holidays and all year, I wish for you to enjoy your family and friends. I wish you joy, peace, healing, prosperity, and hope.
Please do not send cough drops to school with your child. They are considered an over the counter medication and must be carried in to the Health Office by an adult and come with a doctor's order and parent permission to be given by the nurse. A child with a sore throat or cough severe enough to need them probably needs to be resting at home.
The #1 complaint we are seeing right now is still the stomach bug. We have also had quite a few cases of Fifth Disease. This is a viral illness characterized by muscle aches, join pain, fever, and headache. Later on, a pink, lacy rash may appear, especially on the cheeks, arms, and neck. When the rash appears, the person is no longer contagious. Sometimes there are no symptoms at all until the rash appears. Pregnant family members should consult their doctor about their exposure to Fifth Disease.
Kathy Nason RN, Onondaga Road School Nurse