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NURSE'S NOTES

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Pink Eye is common in young children. It is very contagious unless caused by an allergy or an irritant (like something stuck in your eye). Pink Eye causes inflammation of the white part of the eye and the inner eyelids. It isn’t usually serious but if caused by a bacteria, your child will need treatment. It is also sometimes caused by a virus which may or may not need immediate treatment - this will be determined by your child’s doctor.

Pink Eye can be passed by touching an infected person or something they have touched, like a used tissue. It can also be spread by sharing towels. A child with Pink Eye can spread it to the non-affected eye by rubbing it. The key to prevent the spread of Pink Eye is good Handwashing!

Symptoms of Pink Eye include the white part of the eye being red or pink, increasing drainage that is yellow or green and eye discomfort/itching. Bacterial Pink Eye is usually treated with eye drops. If your child complains of severe eye pain, they would need to be seen in an emergency department. Pink Eye can also cause swelling around the eye or a smooth redness around one eye, with or without fever. At that time, your child would need to be seen by your medical provider where an oral antibiotic may be necessary. For Pink Eye caused by allergies, an anti-allergy medication or drops may be given.

If your child wears contact lenses, they should not wear them until the infection is gone. If they are disposable, throw them away. If they are not, the contacts and the case need to be sanitized twice prior to reusing.

Call your Pediatrician if your child’s symptoms are not better 2-3 days after starting medication. Or, if your child has not been treated (like with viral Pink Eye) but symptoms last for 1 week or worsen.
 
God’s Medicine: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

HAND HYGIENE

 

The CDC states that 22 million school days are lost every year due to the common cold. This does not include other common illnesses such as strep or flu. According to the CDC, hand hygiene is the number one way to prevent infection. Hand hygiene includes washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer. If your hands are visibly soiled or you have had loose stools, you would want to use soap and water over the hand sanitizer.
 
It is very important to get into the habit of hand hygiene throughout the day since a person’s hands have millions of microbes on them, some of which cause disease or illnesses.  You should wash your hands before you eat, after using the restroom, if you have been around anyone sick, after you cough/sneeze/blow your nose, after being at the gym and after playing in the dirt. Hand hygiene is an easy way to keep healthy.
 
At ACS, we have an automatic hand sanitizer station at every entrance in addition to hand sanitizer pumps located throughout the school. Please model to your child good hand hygiene at home and encourage them to use the hand sanitizer/soap and water at school.
 
God’s Medicine:  Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.”

SINUSITIS (SINUS INFECTION)

Your sinuses are spaces of air that are located in the cheekbones, forehead, between your eyes and behind your eyes. When you get a cold or have allergies, your nasal passages become swollen and make more mucous, that leads to your sinus tissues doing this as well. This increased mucous and swelling can cause your sinuses to become unable to drain which can cause germs to grow and lead to a sinus infection.
 
Younger kids present with symptoms such as a stuffy/runny nose and a low-grade fever. Older kids/teens can have symptoms such as a cough that does not improve, fever, worsening congestion, and facial and ear pain. Teens can also have nausea, headache and pain behind the eyes.
 
Contact your child’s pediatrician if:
  • Your child has a cold lasting 7 days or longer or if the symptoms are not improving but are worsening.
  • Allergy medication is not helping when it normally does
  • Fever (temperature greater than 100.3)
  • Pain in the cheeks or around the eyes
  • Swelling around the eyes
 
This will allow your child’s pediatrician to rule out a sinus infection or other possible infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or ear infections.
 
A sinus infection may be treated with oral antibiotics if it is bacterial or your child’s pediatrician may recommend antihistamines (like Claritin or Zyrtec) and decongestants (like Mucinex). Over the counter saline spray can also help clear out your child’s nose and running a cool mist humidifier can also help (be sure to clean it out with a bleach/water solution regularly to kill any build-up of bacteria). 
 
*Good hand washing/hand sanitizing is the number one way to stop the spread of cold viruses that can lead to a sinus infection.
 
**During these COVID-19 times you can see how some common illnesses share symptoms attributed to COVID-19. It is important to contact your doctor at the first signs of illness especially presenting with: new cough, fever, sore throat, severe headache, nausea/vomiting or abdominal pain to name a few to rule out a common illness versus a COVID-19 infection. One good thing to note is that children 0-24, statistically do very well and recover from COVID-19. For the most part those who are elderly or chronically ill have had the most negative impact from this virus, with some exceptions.
 
God’s medicine: 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear: but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

STREP THROAT

Strep throat is a common illness seen during the school year. Strep throat is caused by a bacteria, group A strep.
 
Symptoms of strep can include:
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Not all sore throats are strep, so if your child has any of the above symptoms they will need to see their pediatrician so that a throat swab can be done to determine if it is strep.
 
Strep throat is very contagious. It is spread by coming in contact with an infected person’s droplets from their sneeze or cough and then touching your face (mouth, nose, eyes). This is why hand washing is so important and it is the number one way to prevent viral and bacterial infections.
 
If your child tests positive for strep throat, they will be put on antibiotics. This helps them recover quicker and prevents them from spreading it to others. Please have your child complete the entire course of antibiotics, even if they feel better. It is important to keep your child hydrated, giving plenty of fluids. Stay away from citrus juices because of the acid in the juice. Your child may return to school once they have been on antibiotics for 24 hours and have been fever free without the use of fever reducing medication for 24 hours. 
 
*If you have any questions, please call the front office and the school nurse will be alerted to contact you.