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Spring Garden Nurse's Corner

 

 

 

UPDATED MARCH 5, 2024

 

My name is Cindy Mascolo and this is my seventh year here at Spring Garden School. This is my 

31st year as a registered nurse. You can contact me during school hours at: 973-661-8984. My e-mail address is:     cmascolo@nutleyschools.org 

SEASONAL ALLERGIES SPRING 2024:

Please note that we are in the height of allergy season. If your child has seasonal allergies, please assess how they feel in the morning before coming to school. If they take daily allergy medication, please ensure they have had their medication before coming to school including nasal sprays and eye drops.

 

NJ Health Department Urges Individuals to be Vigilant for Measles, Mumps (Information for release: March 5, 2024)

TRENTON:  New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), which has already confirmed one case of measles in the state thus far in 2024, is now collaborating with local health departments to investigate eight suspected cases of mumps in one family cluster in Hunterdon County related to international travel. No additional information is available due to privacy concerns.

With these cases of vaccine-preventable diseases across the state and county, NJDOH is urging individuals, especially parents, guardians and caregivers, to be aware of the symptoms of these highly contagious viruses and to stay up to date with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) shots.

The MMR shot is the most effective way to avoid these illnesses. Children are recommended to receive two doses of MMR, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 to 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR shot. Individuals who have not received two MMR shots or are unaware of their history should reach out to their health care provider to check their immunity levels, especially if traveling. In addition to health care providers, MMR shots are available at many pharmacies, local health departments and federally qualified health centers.

NJDOH is urging individuals to be aware of the symptoms and, if they suspect illness, to call their health care provider first before arriving at the facility so that the provider can take precautions.

For measles:

  • Symptoms appear about one to two weeks after exposure.
  • Symptoms start as a high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery or red eyes.
  • The measles rash starts three to five days after the other symptoms.
  • Measles can also cause neurologic or brain complications for people later in life.

Mumps can start with fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Later, it appears as a swelling of the salivary glands or puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. Mumps can be dangerous. Swollen glands can include swelling of the brain, testicles, ovaries, or breast tissue. This can cause complications such as brain inflammation (encephalitis), deafness, or infertility later in life.

Symptoms for rubella are mild and are similar to measles. But rubella can be very dangerous for pregnant people and can cause birth defects, miscarriage, or death for babies shortly after birth.

For more information, visit:         nj.gov/health/vaccines/mmr.

 

COVID/RESPIRATORY ILLNESS GUIDELINES

As of March 1, 2024 the Covid guidelines have been updated. The CDC has a new document Respiratory Illnesses/Preventing Spread of Respiratory Viruses When You're Sick.  THE NUTLEY DISTRICT HAS NOT OFFICIALLY CHANGED OUR SCHOOL GUIDELINES BUT IT SHOULD BE COMING SHORTLY. THE FOLLOWING IS SUBJECT TO THE NUTLEY DISTRICT/BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVAL AS OF 3/4/24.

What to know:

  • Taking steps to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses when you are sick is a core prevention strategy to lower risk from respiratory viruses
  • Core prevention strategies are important steps you can take to protect yourself and others from respiratory viruses

Recommendation:

When you may have a respiratory virus......

Stay home and away from others (including people you live with who are not sick) if you have respiratory virus symptoms that aren't better explained by another cause. These symptoms can include fever, chills, fatigue, cough, runny nose, and headache, among others*..

  • You can go back to your normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, both are true:
  1. Your symptoms are getting better overall, and
  2. You have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication)

 

  • When you go back to your normal activities, take added precaution over the next 5 days, such as taking additional steps for cleaner air, hygiene, masks, physical distancing, and/or testing when you will be around other people indoors.
  1. Keep in mind that you may still be able to spread the virus that made you sick, even if you are feeling  better. you are likely to be less contagious at this time, depending on factors like how long you were sick or how sick you were.
  2. If you develop a fever or you start to feel worse after you have gone back to normal activities, stay home and away from others again until, for at least 24 hours, both are true: your symptoms are improving overall, and you have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication). Thenk take added precaution for the next 5 days.

 

COUGH DROPS - IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO HAVE COUGH DROPS IN SCHOOL, PLEASE SEND THEM IN WITH A NOTE TO THE NURSE'S OFFICE. I WILL NOT BE GIVING OUT ANY COUGH DROPS WITHOUT PARENT PERMISSION. PLEASE PROVIDE THEM IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO HAVE THEM IN SCHOOL.

 

MEDICATION IN THE SCHOOL SETTING

If you need your child to be given medication in school, we need a prescription from your medical provider or we can also provide you with a school form for your medical provider to fill out. If the medication is over the counter (OTC), the medication should be in the original container and an unexpired date. If it is a medication that requires a prescription, it should have the child's name on the label with instructions how to give the medication along with a paper prescription with the medical providers instructions and signature.

 

ILLNESSES/ABSENCES   

In order for us to monitor illness in our school building, it is advisable to let our Main Office know exactly what illness your child(ren) are experiencing. When you just say "sick" or "illness" it does not give us enough information to decipher if we have a number of students with the same illness. It is in our policy to always call the school when your child(ren) are absent from school and if he/she is absent 3 days or more, you should provide a written note from your health care provider so we know they have been cleared to return to school.

The absentee call line # is: 973-320-830

CONSIDERATION FOR PREGNANT STAFF:

Some illnesses/diseases have a potential to harm a fetus in the womb. A pregnant person may need to be checked by their maternity medical provider if exposed to certain illnesses to ensure the safety and health of their unborn child. Please advise the school if your child has any of the following illnesses:

  • Slapped cheek syndrome/Fifths disease
  • CMV (cytomegalovirus)
  • German Measles
  • Chicken pox
  • Zika virus

 

 

INJURIES/ACTIVITY RESTRICTIONS

If your child sustains an injury, please advise the school. If your child has a cast, orthopedic boot, sutures, ace bandage or coban bandage wrap (or other injuries), please provide us with a medical provider's note to instruct the school what type of activities are permitted while your child is healing. Also we need a medical note if your child requires the use of the elevator if they are not permitted to climb or descend on the stairs. We would need medical clearance from your medical provider after an injury for instructions to have your child participate in activities again.

 

THE FLU

Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose throat, and lungs Flu is different from a cold, and usually comes on suddenly. Each year flu viruses cause millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospital stays and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths in the United States. 

Flu can be very dangerous for children. CDC estimates that between 6,000 and 26,00 children younger than 5 years have been hospitalized each year in the United States because of influenza. The flu vaccine is safe and helps protect children from flu. 

How does the flu spread?

Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly by droplets made when someone with flu coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. A person also can get flu by touching something that has flu virus on it and then toughing their mouth, eyes, or nose.

What are flu symptoms?

Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, feeling tired and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults). Some people with the flu will not have a fever. 

How can I protect my child from flu?

The first and best way to protect against flu is to get a  yearly flu vaccine for yourself and your child.

The Flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 mouths and older every year. Flu shots and nasal spray flu vaccines are both options for vaccination. 

It is especially important that young children and children with certain long-term health problems get vaccinated.

How long can a sick person spread flu to others?

People with flu may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to up to 5 to 7 days after. Severely ill people or young children may be able to spread the flu longer, especially if they have symptoms.

Can my child go to school, day care, or camp if he or she is sick?

No. Your child should stay home to re st and to avoid spreading flu to other children or caregivers.

When can my child go back to school after having flu?

Keep your child home from school, day care, or camp for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. (The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) A fever is defined as 100 Degrees F (37.8 degrees C) or higher. 

(CDC website, "The Flu: A Guide for Parents")

 

IF YOU WANT TO WEAR A MASK IN THE SCHOOL SETTING, IT IS OPTIONAL.

 

The proper manner to wear a mask: Masks should cover your nose, mouth and chin and fit close to the face. KN95 masks are the recommended masks as they filter out approximately 95% of tiny 0.3 micron particles in the air. Cloth masks should be 2 layers and inspected that they are intact with no holes or tears and washed every day after use. Hands should be washed before and after putting the  mask on/off. 

 

COVID 19 VACCINE INFORMATION:    

Vaccine information fact sheet: www.cvdvaccine.com     

If you do not have health insurance of your health insurance does not cover all Covid 19 costs, please see the Bridge Access Program on the CDC website. You will find information about free covid 19 vaccines.`

covid19.nj.gov/finder  or call 855-568-0545 

Please speak with your medical provider about the Covid vaccine. The Covid virus has many strains and the vaccines are updated to reflect the circulating strains predicted and target them. This is why you will need a current vaccine just like the flu vaccine every year. The flu vaccine is updated every year to target the predicted strains by medical experts.

 

FLU VACCINE: The flu vaccine is free when you have insurance. You can call your primary health provider or the local pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens (there are others as well) to make an appointment. Flu season is generally through March 31st.

FREE FLU VACCINATION VOUCHERS FOR UNINSURED 

United Way, NJ 211, and Single Care (formerly FamilyWize) partnered with Walgreens to offer free flu vaccines across New Jersey. Uninsured individuals are eligible for a voucher. Those interested can dial 2-1-1, text their zip code to 898-211, or chat via the website to request a vaccine voucher; qualified individuals will receive an email with the voucher within two business days. 

Also please check with your local and county health departments for local flu clinics. 

GENERAL ILLNESS OR MEDICAL EMERGENCY IN SCHOOL

FEVER, VOMIT, DIARRHEA FREE FOR 24 HOURS WITHOUT THE USE OF MEDICATION

STREP THROAT:  Child may return to school 24-48 hours after starting antibiotic therapy with doctor approval.

SKIN RASHES:  If your child exhibits a skin rash of undetermined origin, please consult your health care provider before sending

  the child to school. It must be diagnosed and if contagious, the child must remain out of the school setting until

  cleared to return to school by a medical provider.

PINK EYE:  Child may exhibit tears, redness, irritation of the eye followed by swelling and sometime also a discharge of pus. Please

  consult with a health care provider and a doctor's note is required for readmission to school. (Please advise the nurse in September

  if your child has seasonal allergies. The eye symptoms are similar to those of pink eye but the irritation is of a different origin.)

HEAD LICE: Remain out of school until treatment completed and lice free.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL IF THEY ARE SICK:

                       If a student comes to the nurse office feeling sick/ill (especially when the school day is just beginning) the nurse will be calling

                       the caregiver/parent.  This includes other illnesses such as an earache, toothache, excessvie fatigue, 

                       excessive coughing, headache, pain, chills, sore throat. Also if you send your child to school sick, YOU MAY BE INFECTING

                       OTHER UNSUSPECTING CHILDREN/STAFF. 

 

IF YOU WOULD LIKE YOUR CHILD TO USE COUGH DROPS DURING SCHOOL HOURS, PLEASE SEND IN COUGH DROPS AND A PARENT/GUARDIAN NOTE AND SEND TO THE NURSE'S OFFICE.  

 

COUNSELING

If any child is having any issues pertaining to  the pandemic or other concerns, we have school counselors available. Please contact the school for further information.

 

TOWNSHIP OF NUTLEY HEALTH DEPARTMENT     Phone # 973-284-4951 x 2410 Office

Website: www.nutleynj.org/health                                      Fax      #973-284-1026

The Nutley Health Department not only provides information about current COVID-19 news and information but also information related to health promotion, screenings, vaccines, town events, food services, and many other town services and events. Please visit this website when you have a few moments to see some of the health benefits and events available to residents. 

NJ Department of Health:     On Twitter  - @njdeptofhealth

                                              Instagram -    @njdeptofhealth

                                              Facebook -  /njdeptofhealth

                                              Snapchat -   @njdoh

 

OFFICIAL NEW JERSEY COVID-19 INFORMATION HUB    -    www.covid19.nj.gov  

Call (General Covid-19 questions):  2-1-1   (24/7)

Call (Medical Covid-19 questions):  1-800-962-1253 (24/7)

Call (Vaccine Appointment support): 1-855-568-0545 (8a ‚Äď 8p)

Text ¬†NJCOVID to 898-211 ‚Äď to receive alerts

This site has information related to:    Indoor/outdoor dining and gatherings, public testing, travel restrictions, phases of eligibility for the Covid-19 vaccine as well as where, how, and when you can get vaccinated.  There are several categories listed on the Main page with information and resources.

 

NJ  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & CDC RECOMMENDATIONS K-12 

https://www.newjerseydepartmentofhealthcovid-19publichealthrecommendationsforlocalhealthdepartmentsforK-12schools 



 

                                                

 

About

The Nutley School District serves approximately 4,100 students in Kindergarten through grade 12. The five elementary schools serve students K-6 and include Lincoln School, Radcliffe School, Spring Garden School, Washington School and Yantacaw School. John H. Walker Middle School serves students in grades 7-8 while Nutley High School addresses the needs of students in grades 9-12.