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  • Summer Safety

    Posted by Cathleen Reardon at 6/1/2017

     

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    Summer Safety Tips for Kids

     

    The final school bell has rung, the pencils and notebooks are packed away and the kids are ready for some summer fun! Children love the hot summer months, because they provide the perfect opportunity to spend lots of time outside. Whether it’s swimming in the pool, hiking through the woods, taking long walks, or going for a bike ride, there is something for everyone, no matter how young or old.

    We hope that everyone enjoys this special time of year, but we want to also remind parents that there are potential dangers during the summer months, and it’s important to be aware of what they are. The more information one learns about how to prevent illnesses and injuries, the less likely they will occur.

    There are many areas to cover when it comes to summer safety, and we’ll review just a few here. Please keep in mind that this is a brief list of tips. For more information check out the web sites recommended at the end of this article.

    Tick Bites

    Ticks are responsible for a variety of illnesses including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These diseases can be very serious. Learn ways to protect your family. Some suggestions include:

    • protective clothing (long sleeves, long pants, tucking pants into socks)
    • tick/bug repellant
    • insect repellant for pets
    • staying in the center of paths, keeping away from overgrown areas and not sitting directly on the ground
    • performing tick checks on all family members every day
    • being aware of signs/symptoms of tick-related illnesses
    • calling the doctor for any concerns and questions

       

    Helmet Safety

    • An appropriate helmet must be worn whenever a child is “on wheels.” This means bicycles, scooters, skates, rollerblades, skateboards and more!
    • The helmet must fit properly.
    • Helmets can be life saving and can protect a child from serious injury.
    • Be sure the right type of helmet is being used. For example, a bike helmet needs to be used for biking.
    • Moms and dads should wear helmets as well.

       

    Pedestrian Safety

    • Teach children to walk, not run, across the street.
    • Children should cross only with an adult or an older, responsible child.
    • Whenever crossing the street, try to make eye contact with any drivers nearby, to be sure they see you.
    • Teach children to avoid running out from between parked cars.
    • Use sidewalks whenever possible.
    • Always hold your child’s hand near any moving or parked vehicles.
    • Adults always need to set a good example!

       

    Water Safety

    Adult supervision is of paramount importance. Parents need to focus on their children 100% of the time. No distractions!

     

    • Practice “touch supervision” (a term used by the American Academy of Pediatrics). This means that at all times, the supervising adult is within an arm’s length of the child being watched, when near or in the water.
    • Remember, no child or adult is “drown proof.”
    • Keep in mind that children can drown in many different water sources including: bathtubs, toilets, buckets, baby pools, backyard swimming pools, community pools, streams, creeks, lakes, rivers, oceans and other places.

    Sun Protection

    • Avoid sun exposure during peak sun hours (10 AM – 6 PM).
    • Wear protective clothing and a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses (with 99-100% UV protection).
    • Sunscreen is a must (on sunny and cloudy days)! Look for products with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 15 (according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Association of Dermatology).
    • Sunscreen should be applied liberally 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and reapplied every two hours or sooner if swimming, sweating or toweling off.
    • Look for shade whenever possible.

       

    Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac

    • It’s the oil from the leaves of these plants that cause the potential allergic reaction.
    • Consider wearing protective clothing to help decrease the amount of exposed skin.
    • Learn how to recognize what poison ivy, oak and sumac look like, so that they can be avoided.
    • Avoid bushy, overgrown areas and places which may contain these plants. Try to stay on paths.

    Summer First Aid Kit

    • Every family should have at least one first aid kit at home which is well stocked and readily accessible.
    • It’s also helpful to keep a first aid kit in the car and one to bring on trips.
    • Kids get lots of cuts and scrapes during the warm summer months, so it’s nice to be prepared.
    • Don’t forget to restock the kit once an item has been used.
    • Be sure to keep a list of emergency numbers where they are easy to find. This list should include: emergency medical services (911), the doctor’s number, the dentist’s number, poison control, a number where mom and/or dad can be reached and any other important phone numbers.

    Dehydration and Heat-Related Illnesses

    • Keeping well hydrated is very important.
    • Children (and adults) must remember to drink.
    • Do not wait until a child says he is thirsty before offering fluids. At this point, he is already dehydrated, so be sure to provide plenty of fluids before going outside, while out in the heat and afterwards.
    • Playing in the hot summer sun means lots of fluid losses, so avoid strenuous activity during peak sun hours (10 am- 6 pm). Look for shade and take lots of breaks.
    • Seek medical attention immediately for any signs of heat-related illness.

    BE SAFE and Enjoy the summer!

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  • Oh No...I've been bit by a tick!

    Posted by Cathleen Reardon at 5/31/2017

    What's a Tick? ti

    While most tick bites are harmless and don't require medical treatment, some ticks (like the deer tick, wood tick, and others) can carry harmful germs and cause diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. The deer tick is tiny, no larger than a pencil point. Other ticks are larger and easier to find on the skin.

    Signs and Symptoms Of Tick-Related Diseases:

    • a red bump ringed by an expanding red rash, which looks like a bull's-eye (Lyme disease)
    • red dots on the ankles and wrists (Rocky Mountain spotted fever)
    • flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, vomiting, and muscle and joint aches

    What to Do: 

    If the tick is still attached to the skin, follow these steps: 

    1. Use tweezers to grasp the tick firmly at its head or mouth, next to the skin.
    2. Pull firmly and steadily until the tick lets go of the skin. Do not twist the tick or rock it from side to side. If part of the tick stays in the skin, don't worry. It will eventually come out on its own.
    3. Release the tick into a jar or zip-locked bag in case you want to have it identified later on.
    4. Wash your hands and the site of the bite with soap and water.
    5. Swab the bite site with alcohol.

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    Never use petroleum jelly or a hot match to kill and remove a tick. These methods don't get the tick off the skin, and can cause the insect to burrow deeper and release more saliva (which increases the chances of disease transmission).

    Seek Medical Care If:

    • The tick might have been on the skin for more than 24 hours.
    • Part of the tick remains in the skin after attempted removal.
    • A rash of any kind develops (especially a red-ringed bull's-eye rash or red dots on wrists and ankles).
    • The bite area looks infected (increasing warmth, swelling, pain, or oozing pus).
    • Symptoms like fever, headache, fatigue, stiff neck or back, or muscle or joint aches develop.

    Think Prevention!

    • After kids play outside, check their skin and hair — especially the scalp, behind the ears, around the neck, and under the arms.
    • When playing in wooded areas, kids should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and tuck pant legs into their socks.
    • Use an insect repellant with at least 10% to 30% DEET for protection against bites and stings in kids older than 2 years, always carefully following the directions for application.
    • Avoid tick-infested areas.
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  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

    Posted by Cathleen Reardon at 10/7/2016

     

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    FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PROGRAM

    This year our school will be participating in a special Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. We will be offering fresh fruits and vegetables in the classroom as snacks. We are excited to have been awarded this grant to provide our students with healthy, nutritious foods. The NJ Department of Agriculture awarded this program to only 157 schools throughout New Jersey. The grant is in partnership with Chartwells and Sickles Market in Little Silver.

    Two days each week your child will enjoy a fruit or vegetable in the classroom.  Occasionally, there will be information and recipes sent home for you as a family to participate in promoting and increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables. 

    Please try to extend your child’s/children’s fruit and vegetable experience by encouraging fruits and vegetables at meal times and for snacks. Your participation will contribute to the success of this project!  Look for our Nutrition Nuggets newsletter with great ideas how to promote health and nutrition at home!

    This program is seen as an important catalyst for change in efforts to combat childhood obesity by helping children learn more healthful eating habits. The FFVP introduces our students to produce that they otherwise might have had the opportunity to sample.

    The goals of the fruit and vegetable program are:

    (1) Increase Children’s Fruit & Vegetable Consumption

    (2) Create Healthier Schools

    (3) Change Children’s Diets to Impact their Future Health 

    (4) Promote Wellness

    We are so excited to be a part of this program!


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  • Is Your Child's Asthma Under Control

    Posted by Cathleen Reardon at 5/31/2016

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    Is Your Child’s Asthma Under Control?

    Rules of Two

    • Does he take his ‘quick relief (rescue/reliever) inhaler’ more than two times a week?
    • Does she awaken at night with asthma symptoms more than two times a month?
    • Do you refill his ‘quick relief (rescue/reliever) inhaler’ more than two times a year?

    If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, your child's asthma is NOT UNDER CONTROL. Talk to your doctor about your asthma!

    Good Asthma Control Means:

    • Sleeping through the night without asthma symptoms
    • No time off from school or work due to asthma
    • Full participation in all physical activities
    • No emergency room visits or stays in the hospital due to asthma
    • Few or no side effects from your medicines

    Controlling Your Child’s Asthma

    There are three main aspects of controlling your child’s asthma: medical care, medications, and avoiding or reducing things in the child’s environment that trigger your child’s asthma.

    Medical Care

    A doctor should be monitoring your child’s asthma. It can be the child’s regular health care provider or a specialist such as a pediatric pulmonologist (lung doctor) or an allergy/asthma specialist. It is important to see the doctor every 3-6 months, even if your child is feeling well!

    Asthma Action Plans

    An asthma action plan (AAP) is a one-page guide that informs you what to do if your child has asthma symptoms. Your doctor should fill out the AAP and give a copy to you. Any adults that have contact with your child on a regular basis, such as the school nurse or child care provider, should be given a copy of the AAP. The AAP should be updated by the doctor when the treatment is changed in any way. Whenever the AAP is changed, a new copy should be given to the school nurse, child care provider, or other adults who have contact with your child on a regular basis.

    Here is what an AAP looks like in English and Spanish:

    http:////www.pacnj.org/pdfs/atpfillablestudentengsp.pdf

    Importance of flu shots!

    It is very important that your child gets a flu shot every year before or during winter. This will help prevent your child from getting the flu with asthma complications!!

    You may have heard that the flu shot will make a person sick. That is not true. A flu shot helps children and adults stay healthy.

    Medicine

    Medicines help keep the asthma under control. There are two types of medicine that are most commonly prescribed for asthma. They are controller medications and quick relief medications.

    Controller Medication

    Controller medication is long-acting and helps to keep asthma under control. It must be taken every day, even when your child is doing well. Controller medication keeps the airways open and helps the body to decrease mucous so the airways won’t get blocked.

    This will help to decrease the number of asthma attacks your child will get and may even prevent them from happening at all!

    Examples of controller medications are AsmanaxFloventAdvair , Symbicort, and a chewable pill—Singular.

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    Inhaled Corticosteroid

    An Inhaled Corticosteroid, also called ICS, is the most common type of controller medication that doctors prescribe. ICS is excellent at controlling asthma. It contains only a tiny fraction of the amount of steroids you hear about that athlete’s sometimes take. Your child will not get huge and will not get sick from taking ICS—it will make their asthma better.


    Quick-Relief Medication

    Quick-Relief Medication (also called Rescue medication) are used for quick relief when symptoms of an asthma attack begin. These medications open the airways so more air can get in and out. They are short–acting. Quick-relief medication should be administered to your child at the first signs of distress—do not wait!

     Some children need to use quick-relief medication before exercise (as instructed by your doctor) to prevent asthma symptoms from occurring when they are active. This allows children with asthma to participate in activities and live normal, active lives.

    Availability of the Quick-Relief Inhaler at All Times

    You or your child should have the quick-relief medication on hand at all times whether at school, home, or away even for a few hours. Your health insurance will cover for two quick-relief inhalers: one to keep at school and one for home. The quick-relief inhaler should always be readily available to your child just in case it is needed in an emergency—even if your child is feeling well.

    You should be sure that your permission for the school nurse to administer the quick-relief medication to your child is on file at school along with medication. If your child is old enough to take the medication him—or herself, then permission for your child to carry the medication during school hours should be on file. The medication should be available during school trips, also. Your child may need the medication before exercise or for emergencies.

    If your child needs to use the quick-relief inhaler more than two times a week, or if you have to refill it more than two times a year, then your child’s asthma is not under control. Your child needs to see the doctor. Also, always be aware of the expiration date of the medication. If the medication has expired, see the doctor or call and request a refill.

    Some common quick-relief medications are: Pro AirProventilVentolin, and Xopenex.

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    Devices to Help Children Inhale Their Medication

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    Spacer – A spacer is a device that attaches to your child’s inhaler. It makes it easier to inhale the full dose of medicine. Spacers are also called aerochambers.

    It is important that someone who can help teach you or your child use the medications watch them and review their technique. You should bring your medicines to your visits so your provider can see what you have and how you or your child are using it.

    Even babies can be given their medication with a spacer. A mask can be used to help young children inhale the dose of medication.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zi7D7yJ1_0

    The video clip above demonstrates how to use the inhaler with the spacer/aerochamber.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qODe6jTgLA

    This video clip above demonstrates how to use the spacer/aerochamber with a mask.

    Nebulizer – a nebulizer is a machine that is used to deliver medication to young children. The spacer is more effective in delivering the medication directly to the lungs. However, you can use the nebulizer to administer your child’s medication if for some reason your child cannot use the spacer.

    Controlling Asthma Triggers in Your Child’s Environment

    Things that cause asthma symptoms are called triggers or allergens. Limiting or avoiding your child’s exposure to asthma triggers are will help to prevent asthma attacks. This is a very important aspect of managing asthma.

    There are a variety of triggers that can make your child’s asthma worse. Some common triggers are smoke, some foods, colds, dust, pets, pollen, weather, cockroaches, strong odors such as perfumes, and strong emotions. Click on the links below to the American Lung Association and the Centers for Disease Control pages for helpful information on different triggers and how to avoid or control them.

    What is Asthma Video:

    http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/flare-up-vd.html

     

     

     

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