A Note from the School Nurse:
On Wednesday, the Peterborough Lions Club volunteers were at PES screening students vision with the Spot Vision screener, a hand-held device which can detect vision issues such as Myopia [Near-sightedness], Hyperopia [Far-sightedness], Anisometropia [Unequal Refractive Power], Astigmatism [Blurred Vision], Strabismus [Eye Misalignment, Gaze], Anisocoria [Pupil Size Deviations]. If an issue came up for your child, I have called you with the information. Otherwise, look for a sheet with the results in your child’s take-home folder.
So much of what our students learn is presented visually so screening for vision issues is important. Undetected problems have the potential to affect academic and reading performance. We are very fortunate that our local Lions Club has the vision screener and volunteers to use it at PES.
Some symptoms of possible vision issues to watch for at home include:
Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
Short attention span
Avoiding reading and other close activities
Covering one eye
Tilting the head to one side
Holding reading materials close to the face
An eye turning in or out
Losing place when reading
Difficulty remembering what he or she read
As vision can change frequently in children, regular vision care is important. If you have any concerns, do contact an eye doctor.
Eye protection is also a concern. Protective eyewear for sports may vary depending on the sport or activity. Ultraviolet radiation in sunlight can cause eye damage so shades or hats are important.
If your child is spending time looking at a TV, computer or other screen, remind them to follow to 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.
Do contact me if you have any questions – 924-3828 x 1641
Have a great weekend!
Pam Murphy, RN
HEALTH OFFICE INFORMATION
As you may have heard, we have the flu in NH! Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus which can cause mild to severe illness. According to the NH Department of Health & Human Services website, activity in the state is widespread which is the highest level but it is not to epidemic levels. Here at PES, the illness absence rate has been low.
Signs & symptoms of flu usually start suddenly and may include:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills – not everyone with the flu will have a fever
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (very tired)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in young children than in adults.
It is thought that the flu virus spreads when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Tiny droplets of virus can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Or, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. So, remember to cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow and wash hands!
School attendance is very important and we want students to be in school every day! However, if your child has a fever, (temperature of 100.0 or higher), please keep them home. Temperature should be normal without the use of fever reducing medication for at least 24 hours before returning to school. Call the school nurse, Pam Murphy, with any questions about whether or not your child should be in school.
Also, please remember to notify PES of your child’s absence by telephone, email or PickUp Patrol. And, for 5 or more consecutive days of absence due to illness, we need a doctor’s note.
For more information on influenza – https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/symptoms.htm
The PES School Nurse is a Registered Nurse, licensed by the State of New Hampshire, who advocates for children’s health in the educational setting. The goal of the health office is to advance the well being and academic success of our students, and to help prepare them for a productive and healthy future.
Healthy students are more able to be successful in every aspect of one’s school and home life. The health office encourages students to develop healthy eating habits, get sufficient sleep, see their health care provider and dentist regularly, practice good hygiene and wear appropriate clothing for our variable New England weather.
The School Nurse conducts routine height, weight, vision and hearing screenings, monitors communicable disease, maintains health records, provides individualized nursing services for students with disabilities and/or health conditions and attends to illnesses and injuries that occur at school. In addition, she provides students, staff and parents with relevant health and safety education. Books on many health and childcare issues are available for loan. Parents are welcome to call or visit the Health Office anytime with information or questions about their children’s health.
Here are some key health questions about which parents routinely seek additional information:
For uninsured children, New Hampshire Healthy Kids offers affordable and comprehensive benefits, including medical, dental, vision, prescription drugs and more.
Cost is based on family size and income – and may be free for some children. Vision coverage for uninsured children may also be available.
Please call the Health Office at 924-3828 ext. 1641 for more information.
Records of Immunizations and Physical Examinations
The School Nurse is responsible for implementing state laws and expectations regarding immunizations and physical examination.
Before a child is allowed to start school at PES, parents must provide written documentation of all immunizations and a current physical from a health care provider.
Routine Vision and Hearing Screenings
Routine vision and hearing screenings will take place throughout the year. You will receive a note when your child has been examined.
If your child complains of headaches, blurred vision, or other evidence of eye strain, he/she should be fully checked by an optometrist. If there are significant hearing problems, an audiologist exam is advised.
The main reasons for keeping your child home from school are:
1. He or she is too sick to be comfortable and able to learn at school.
2. He or she might spread a contagious disease to the other children.
Because of these health and safety concerns, no child should attend school if he/she has any of the following conditions: a fever; a sore throat or earache; a serious cold or cough; sick or aching stomach; vomiting or diarrhea within the last 24 hours; or any kind of skin rash. Sick children will be sent home from school. The School Nurse may require a doctor’s note prior to a student returning to school.
Sore throats are very common throughout childhood; however, it is important to be alert for a streptococcus or “strep” infection that can only be accurately diagnosed through a throat culture. If your child is diagnosed with a strep or any other infection requiring antibiotics, the prescribed antibiotics must be taken for the full length of time prescribed by the doctor.
Children may return to school after 24 hours on antibiotics and when their temperature has been normal for 24 hours.
Please remember to always make sure that the school knows how to reach you (or an emergency contact person) during the day, especially if your child has not been well. Also, keep in mind that handwashing is the single most important intervention to help prevent the spread of infection.