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Seasonal Allergies

It’s that time of year again.  Seasonal allergies are making everyone miserable.  Here is a basic rundown of seasonal allergy symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes and nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Airborne allergens also can trigger asthma, a condition in which the airways narrow, making breathing difficult and leading to coughing.  See your health care provider if you suspect your child has asthma or is wheezing/coughing or having difficulty breathing.  Asthma can be life threatening.  

If you suspect your child has allergies, consult with your health care provider about how to treat the symptoms. There are several effective over the counter allergy medications that may be beneficial for allergy sufferers.  If your child does require medication that needs to be given at school, please remember to fill out an Authorization to give Medication form.  These can be found

I have been encouraging students to hydrate, get plenty of rest and do their best to make it through their school day. 

It's also important to remember that anyone can develop allergies at any time in their life, so even if you've never had allergy problems in the past, it doesn't mean you won't have them now.   

Have a great spring!!

Suzanne Funk, RN

Due West Clinic Nurse


 

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What is Influenza (also called Flu)?

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Signs and Symptoms of Flu

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms that usually start suddenly, not gradually:

• Fever* or feeling feverish/chills

• Cough

• Sore throat

• Runny or stuffy nose

• Muscle or body aches

• Headaches

• Fatigue (very tired)

• Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in young children than in adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

How Flu Spreads

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, 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.

Period of Contagiousness

You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Although people with the flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins, some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others with flu viruses for an even longer time.

Onset of Symptoms

The time from when a person is exposed to flu virus and infected to when symptoms begin is about 1 to 4 days, with an average of about 2 days.

Complications of Flu

Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

People at High Risk from Flu

Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.

Preventing Seasonal Flu

The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccination each year. CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions (like staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing) to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu.

Diagnosing Flu

It is very difficult to distinguish the flu from other viral or bacterial causes of respiratory illnesses on the basis of symptoms alone. There are simple tests available to diagnose flu. Please see your health care provider if you suspect you have the flu.

Treating Flu

There are influenza antiviral drugs that can be used to treat flu illness.

Please remember that your child must be fever free (without fever –reducing medication) for 24 hours before returning to school.

Credit: CDC. http://cdc.gov/flu

Stay well!!

Suzanne Funk, RN

Clinic Nurse


Welcome Back!

WELCOME BACK!!!!  I hope everyone had a relaxing, fun-filled summer break!!

Every now and then, illness strikes, and it can interrupt our learning. Here are a few reminders that will help us, and those around us, stay healthy and in school.

Get Plenty of Sleep! While there is no magical number of hours required for any one person to sleep, it is very important to your child’s well-being and effective learning to get enough shut eye. It has been shown that without enough sleep children have decreased attentiveness, decreased short-term memory, and negative behavior.

Eat a Nutritious Breakfast! It’s the most important meal of the day! It can be a challenge on those mornings when you’re running late, but the effort made in making sure your child gets a good breakfast will pay off in your child’ day. He/she will feel better and be more productive in his/her school day.

Wash Your Hands! Good hand washing is the first line of defense against many illnesses. Please encourage your child to wash their hands for 10 to 15 seconds with soap and warm water throughout their day, especially before eating, after using the bathroom, and after blowing their nose or sneezing.

If your child is showing symptoms of not feeling well, i.e., low-grade fever, persistent cough, thick runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, please don’t send them to school. They must be fever free, without fever-reducing medications, for 24 hours before returning to school. Sending a child to school with any symptoms of a contagious illness puts other children and teachers at risk of getting sick. If all parents keep their sick children at home, we will have stronger, healthier and happier children and teachers.

Please visit the Student Health Services page on the Cobb County School District’s web site (www.cobbk12.org). The link to this page is located on the left hand side of the main page under General Information. The Student Health Services page has links to CCSD medication forms, clinic cards, and answers to frequently asked questions. Located at the top of the page, be sure to review Rule JLC-6: Is My Student Well Enough to go to School? These are just some of the Cobb County rules that will govern the way in which the clinic is run.

My wish for all of the Due West students and staff is a happy and healthy school year full of learning and growing. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. As always, I look forward to taking care of your children.

Suzanne Funk

ClinicNurse


 

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Cold or Flu?

It is getting to be that time of year again.  Yes, it is cold and flu season...

How can you determine whether your child has a cold or the flu? The symptoms can be very similar, but flu symptoms are typically much more intense and severe. Symptoms for each are below: 

Cold:

  • runny or stuffy nose
  • low or no fever
  • mild headache
  • mild fatigue (or tiredness)
  • mild cough
  • sore throat


Flu:

  • runny or stuffy nose
  • high fever that comes on quickly (over 101.0 degrees)
  • severe headache
  • extreme fatigue (tiredness)
  • cough (sometimes severe with breathing difficulty)
  • sore throat
  • chills
  • body aches


If your child exhibits symptoms of the flu, it is very important to keep them home from school. If a fever over 101.0 last for 24 hours, have your child seen by a doctor. If your child has breathing difficulty, is not able to drink fluids, appears excessively tired, or is excessively irritable with the above symptoms, take your child to the ER. If the doctor determines that your child has the flu, there is medication that the doctor can prescribe to decrease the severity and duration of the illness.

FYI---it is not too late to get your flu shot! And, be sure to practice good hand-washing technique to decrease the risk of catching a cold or flu.

Please remember, your child must be fever-free (with no fever-reducing medication) for 24 hours before returning to school!

Credit:  CDC. http://cdc.gov/flu

 

Suzanne Funk

Clinic Nurse