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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.

WATER SAFETY

During the summer when the Georgia weather gets so muggy and hot, swimming in a  pool can bring some much-needed relief. During these times, it is important to follow  some water safety guidelines. Drownings can happen quickly and in less than 1 inch of  water.
 
Here are some things that you can do for the safety of your children:  
  1. If you have young children, it is important that there be some form of barrier i.e.  fence/gate to keep your child out of the pool when unsupervised.  
  2. Having a pool alarm or cover can be helpful in deterring children from entering  the pool when you are not around.  
  3. Removing toys from the pool after swimming is done for the day.  4. If you have an above ground pool, removing the ladder after swimming. 5. If you have a small wading pool, empty out the water after use.  
A couple of years ago there was a lot of media attention on “dry drownings”. Technically  a “dry drowning” is when water is prevented from entering the lungs because the  muscles in the throat clamp down. When they do this, it causes oxygen not to be able to  get to the brain. This is very rare and children who suffer this type of drowning have an  “event” happen where they have to be “rescued” with some form of resuscitation needed  like mouth to mouth. These children never completely return to normal. If you have any  concerns about a child having been involved in a drowning episode, having a medical  professional examine your child is essential. 
 
Learning CPR and the Heimlich maneuver is a key life saving skill that can be used in a  variety of situations. You can contact the American Heart Association at www.heart.org and look under the CPR tab to learn more. 
Also knowing the number to Poison Control is vital in that they are a resource not only  for ingestions but also for information or questions regarding all types of animal bites as  well. The Georgia Poison Control Phone number is 404-616-9000. 
Have a safe and wonderful rest of the summer! 
 
Health Food: “Every Word of God is pure “tried, found pure”: He is a shield unto them  that put their trust in Him.” Psalm 30:5 

GASTROENTERITIS

There are many reasons that kids vomit whether it be from stress, illnesses, or other issues. One reason that kids vomit is due to a viral illness called Gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis is common and can cause vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. This viral infection typically does not last long and handwashing and infection control measures such as not sharing drinks/utensils and wiping down frequently touched surfaces helps to reduce the spread to others. 
 
If your child vomits more than 8 times in 8 hours, vomits green/yellow (when they have not eaten or drank anything green) if the vomit is bloody, or your child has bloody or mucousy diarrhea, contact your child’s healthcare provider. If your child is experiencing diarrhea along with the vomiting, this can cause dehydration more quickly due to excessive fluid loss. In order to make sure that your child stays hydrated, you will want to start with 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of an electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte or a sports drink then wait 10 minutes before giving another. Slowly increase the amount of fluids that you are giving your child to ensure they don’t vomit again because they drank too much, too fast. With diarrhea alone, there is no need to follow this process but there is a need to stay away from sugary foods/drinks as they can make diarrhea worse.
 
When to call your child’s healthcare provider:
  • No urine for 8 hours/dry or sunken eyes/inside the mouth is sticky
  • Child does not “perk up” with quiet activity (playing on a tablet/computer, reading books, drawing/coloring) between vomiting episodes or with diarrhea
  • Your child starts having additional symptoms i.e. fever, headaches, pain with urinating…
  • If you child had a head injury and then started vomiting
  • If your child has abdominal pain that is not relieved by vomiting or diarrhea but is constant
  • Vomiting or diarrhea that stops and then comes back
  • Or if you are just concerned about you child but none of the above apply

COVID-19 QUARANTINE GUIDELINES

Information about covid-19 and quarantine guidelines
 
There are 7 different types of coronaviruses that affect humans. The common cold is an example of one of these viruses. Data shows through the CDC that if an individual contracts covid-19 and is 69 years old or under, the survival rate is greater than 99%. If the individual is 70 and over the survival rate is 94.6%. In adults, heart disease is the leading cause of death followed by cancer. In children, about 20 children die every day from a preventable injury – more than die from all diseases combined.(CDC Childhood Injury Report). Every life is precious. The above information is only for perspective since we are inundated with “death counts” on the nightly news.
 
At ACS we are following the Department of Public Health and CDC guidelines regarding operations and quarantine procedures. The guidelines for quarantine are as follows:
  • If you HAVE symptoms and receive a POSITIVE covid-19 test, you are to quarantine for 10 days from the START of symptoms. You may discontinue quarantine after the 10 days as long as there is no fever for 24 hours (without medication) and you are not worsening.
  • If you have NO symptoms and NO exposure but go out and test and your test is POSITIVE, you must quarantine for 10 days from the test date.
  • If you have been EXPOSED to someone who has tested POSITIVE for covid-19 and you have NO symptoms you will need to quarantine for 10 days from the last exposure date. **If you continue to have NO symptoms, you may go get a covid-19 test on day 5 of quarantine and if that test is NEGATIVE and you still have NO symptoms, you can discontinue your quarantine AFTER 7 days. If that test is POSITIVE, you will then have to quarantine for 10 days from the date of the test.**
  • If you develop symptoms during your quarantine period. You will need to quarantine for 10 days from the start of your symptoms, you may test if desired but not required at that time because if the test is negative it will not get you out of quarantine any faster. 
 
**Exposure is defined as closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes.**
 
 
I know that some are growing weary of having to deal with covid-19, trust me, I know. It is very important to continue to practice good infection control methods such as hand washing, not sharing drinks/utensils, cover your cough or sneeze and so on. If your child is sick, keep them home. If they have symptoms of covid-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, complete loss of taste/smell) follow up with your doctor. Continue to let the school know of any exposures to covid-19 or if any testing is done.

BEHAVIOR

 

Aside from working at ACS, I also do pediatric telephone triage. One thing that I am always educating parents about is the importance of behavior with any pediatric illness. Children are very resilient.

When your child is sick and no longer “perks up” or is no longer playful, that is concerning. Your child should have at least 15 minutes of quiet play every 4 hours with a fever and 15 minutes of quiet play every 2 hours without a fever. For example, if your child has a fever and you notice that they are just laying around or crying, you can first try to give a fever reducer/pain reliever (Tylenol or Motrin). If after 1 hour, your child is still just “laying around” or crying, they would need to be seen. That would mean, even with medication, they still feel so bad that they cannot play or do some sort of quiet activity. For a teen that would be where they feel so bad they cannot text on their phone. Watching TV does not count as a quiet activity but playing on a tablet would because it involves “doing” something.

Without a fever an example of needing to be seen would be pain not relieved by medication. Examples of a medical emergency would be if you ever look at your child and they look like they are pulling in at the neck or chest with every breath or they are blue or unresponsive.

FEVER

 

A normal body temperature is between 97.0-100.3F. A fever is any temperature that is 100.4F or higher. There are many reasons that kids get fevers. It could be from being over dressed or bundled. Also in younger kids, fevers can appear after immunizations. Fevers also arise due to 

infections. In the instance of infections, your body is heating up to fight off the infection, which is not a bad thing. I know that fevers can be frightening to parents. The number of the fever isn’t as important as the behavior of your child. For example, if one child has a temperature of 100.4 and is not playful, is just laying around or very irritable and another child has a temperature of 103 but is still active and playing, the sicker child is the one with the lower temperature. Behavior is key. If your child has a fever but is still playful and acting “like their normal self” then you do not necessarily have to treat the fever with medications. But, if your child is having a change in behavior with the fever (sluggish, laying around, not playing or irritable) then give them a fever reducer. If after 1 hour, your child’s behavior has not improved then your child will need a medical exam. Something to note, any fever in a child less than 3 months old would require an immediate medical exam. 

Since a fever can be the sign of an infection, there are restrictions regarding coming to school with a fever. At ACS, if your child has a fever (100.4 or higher), they are not permitted to return to school until they have been fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications (Tylenol or Motrin). 

During these times with COVID-19, we are extra cautious and would request that if your child has a fever, sore throat, new or worsening cough, diarrhea/vomiting/abdominal pain, or severe headache then stay home from school and contact your child pediatrician. 

God’s Medicine “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” Psalms 103:2-3

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.”