A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 5 | October 2017
Health Reminder for 17-18 School Year
Your DCSD School Nurse Consultants hope your summer break included visits to State Parks, relaxing walks with family and friends and many peaceful hours of unplugged time. We hope everyone is feeling re-energized and enjoying being back in the school routine. 

The importance of attendance and school success begins on the first of day of school and continues throughout the school year. We understand that new health concerns may develop over the summer or anytime throughout the school year. Sometimes surgeries are best done over the summer months or over longer school breaks so students can benefit from longer recovery time. Nursing intervention and supervision may be needed to support your student's new or ongoing health conditions during the school day. Please contact your School Nurse Consultant and together we will develop a health care plan which achieves optimum health, student safety and school success.

Health Tip
School Matters! Attend today. Achieve Tomorrow!

School Nurse Consultant Role
"School nursing, a specialized practice of nursing, protects and promotes student health, facilitates optimal development, and advances academic success. School nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are the leaders who bridge health care and education, provide care coordination, advocate for quality student-centered care, and collaborate to design systems that allow individuals and communities to develop their full potential." (National Association of School Nurses, 2017)

School Nurse Consultants manage students' significant health concerns at individual schools, including elementary, secondary, charter, preschools, before and after child care programs, summer sessions and Child-Find. Every Douglas County school has a School Nurse Consultant. The goal of the School Nurse Consultant is to work closely with parents, health care providers, school staff and others to coordinate the health care of the student. Please notify your School Nurse Consultant of any health concerns or needs your students may have.

Attention to Attendance
"Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student's academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and on the job." (from Attendance Works )

Yoga and Relaxation
Yoga has been around for thousands of years. It is a practice that started in India, and is now very popular in the United States and around the world. Yoga has gained a lot of attention lately - maybe because it is a fun and easy way for both adults and kids to feel healthy and happy. For children, yoga is about exploring and learning in a fun, safe and playful way. Yoga and kids are a perfect match. Here is what children (and adults!) can learn from yoga.  
Yoga teaches us about:  
  • Body movement - to move more freely and with greater ease and awareness. Postures help our bodies become strong and flexible.
  • How to breathe better - to breathe deeply and fully and become more aware.
  • How to use our energy more effectively - we feel more relaxed, focused, or motivated.
  • How to quiet the mind - we learn how to be still. This helps us to listen with attention and make good decisions.
  • Balance - we learn to be aware about the need for balance in our lives and making sure we balance our very busy time with equal quiet time and relaxation.
  • To be the "boss" of our bodies - to listen to our bodies by modifying or changing poses that are too hard.
  • Taking care of ourselves - Yoga is a great way to move our bodies, feel healthy and support a good night's sleep!

The beauty of yoga is that children can practice alone, with a friend or with a group. Many of our schools are now teaching yoga to students of all ages. Also, there are many choices for after-school or weekend classes for kids and their families. Everyone can enjoy yoga - from tots to great-grandparents.

Namaste from your School Nurse Consultants!  
Soup for the Soul Fall Recipe: Beefy Corn and Black Bean Chili
Serves 6

Ingredients :
· 1 lb ground beef
· 1 16-oz bag of seasoned, frozen black
  beans and corn
· 2 tsp no-salt chili powder mix
· 1 can (14 ounces) beef broth
· 1 can (14 ounces) tomato sauce with chili seasoning
· Sour cream (optional)
· Green onions, sliced (optional)

Directions :
1.  Add ground beef and chili spices to a large Dutch oven or pot.
2.  Cook seasoned beef on medium-high heat until just browned (about 6 minutes). Stir to crumble beef as it cooks.
3.  Drain fat from cooked beef.
4.  Add beans, corn, tomato sauce, and beef broth to pot, and bring mixture to a boil.
5.  Cover pot and reduce heat, simmering for 10 minutes.
6.  Remove lid and simmer 5 minutes longer.
7.  Serve and garnish with sour cream and green onions.

Your School Nurse Consultants say "bon appétit"!
Recipe adapted from My Recipes
Meningococcal Facts
What is meningococcal disease and why does my child need the meningococcal vaccine?

Meningococcal disease, Meningitis, is an infection that is caused by a strain of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. Meningitis is a serious and potentially life-threatening inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord and/or a serious blood infection. Meningitis can cause serious problems with the nervous system, stroke, seizures, limb loss through amputation, and hearing loss.

Vaccines are available that can help prevent meningococcal disease. There are two types of meningococcal vaccines available in the United States:
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccines
  • Serogroup B meningococcal vaccines - Recombinant type

CDC recommends all 11 to 12 year olds be vaccinated with a meningococcal conjugate vaccine, with a booster dose given at 16 years old.  In certain situations, other children and adults could be recommended to get vaccinated. CDC does not routinely recommend a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine for all teens and young adults as this type is relatively rare. Outbreaks have recently occurred at several U.S. colleges.

Talk with your or your child's healthcare professional or your school nurse consultant if you have questions about meningococcal vaccines and about recommendations for school age students and students entering college.
Asthma in Colorado
Blooms and pollen are in the air? Spring, summer and fall are beautiful times of the year, but for our students who have asthma, these seasons can be especially challenging times. It is important for all of us to have a basic understanding of asthma which affects at least 1 in every 10 students in Colorado. Asthma is also a leading cause of absenteeism in our schools.

What is asthma?
  • A chronic health condition where the airways of the lungs are hyper-reactive to substances in the environment that trigger the airways to narrow, making it difficult to breathe. This airway narrowing can happen in 3 ways: inflammation (red, puffy, swollen airways), bronchospasm (smooth muscles that line the airway) and excess mucus production.
  • Can be life-threatening.
  • Causes breathing problems called asthma "attacks or episodes" that can range from mild to serious.
  • There is no cure for asthma but it can be controlled.

Watch for the signs and symptoms of asthma to support a quick response:
  • Coughing - in some children, a chronic cough may be the only symptom
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath

How do we respond to worsening asthma or an asthma "episode"?
A timely response to asthma attack episode is crucial for helping students recover and improve the likelihood of them returning to school, home and social activities.
  • Stop the student's current activity and remove trigger like exercise and allergens.
  • Keep the student in an upright position and help student to remain calm.
  • Help the student use his or her quick relief medication, per orders and school nurse delegation, and observe for effect.
  • When inhaler is not available, sips of warm water may be helpful.
  • Never leave the student alone.

Working together, we can minimize asthma symptoms and episodes and increase school success and participation.

Protecting Against the Flu
The best preventative measure against influenza (flu) is annual flu vaccination for you, your children, and your entire family. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend annual flu vaccinations for everyone six months and older. Children, especially those younger than 5 years, are at higher risk for serious flu-related complications. The flu vaccine offers the best defense against getting the flu and spreading it to others. Getting vaccinated can reduce flu illnesses, doctor's visits, missed work and school days, and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths in children. 

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with the 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, eyes or possibly their nose. The time from when a person is exposed to flu virus to when symptoms begin is about 1 to 4 days, with an average of about 2 days.

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
  • 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 children than adults
*It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Review the resources below to learn how you can protect your family and help to Keep Flu out of School.

Additional Resources