This is my 9th year as the school nurse at the Steger/Computer School.I live in Webster Groves with my husband of 25 years, a Kirkwood Middle School teacher. and my two mostly grown children.
One of the things I like to do is keep up with the ever changing and fast paced changes in health care and current issues like allergies, asthma, diabetes and the ever present flu outbreak. Understanding and being prepared is an important concept to maintain, especially because of the potential for school closures and how we problem solve for this event. How do we maintain our children's education and keep them safe at the same time? What are our technology resources to address this? These are the questions I ask myself when contemplating this issue. Please refer to the link "Bielik's Prefered Documents" for the Missouri Dept. of Health Powerpoint on the Pandemic Flu. Click onto "File" in order to view this. This is an excellent resource for individuals and families. The yearly flu season between December and March every year (the "known" flu strains that we can obtain vaccinations for in October and November). It is important that children who are more susceptible, such as those with chronic diseases like asthma or diabetes, obtain this yearly vaccination. Another "cycling" vaccine preventable illness is pertussis which can dramatically effect a student's attendance.
It is also a good time to remind parents of those children who have allergies that trigger their asthma to have their student to start taking any "control" medications 2 weeks prior to the start of the "allergy season". In Missouri, there are three allergy seasons, Spring, mid-Summer and late-Summer/Fall. Those with Fall allergies need to start their Claritin/Zyrtec, Singulair, Advair, Flovent, or Flonase (to name some of the more common medications used) starting August 1st. Those with Spring allergies should start by mid-March and Summer allergies need to start in mid-May. As those of you with children using inhalers probably know by now, all Albuterol or "rescue" inhalers are now in a "HFA" dispenser. Because of expense, you need to find out if your insurance companies will cover more than one inhaler so that the school nurse can have one at school that does not need to "travel" back and forth from home to school.
Of course, I wouldn't be doing my job unless I stressed the importance of modeling and preaching handwashing plus coughing into your sleeve. This can be an enormous factor in lowering your student's and other's illness and absence rate. 07/27/11