Ouchies? Colds? Asthma? Check Out School Nurse Health Tips
Updated April 21, 2020 - to be revised as needed.
Dear University City Families:
Your school health care team is here to assist with resources for your families, especially during these times, including flyers in your Peachjar email each Wednesday. You can reach your school nurse by email with any health-related question.
Additional concerns may include food insecurities, loss of health insurance due to layoffs, asthma. We are offering a few suggestions for support - but please contact your SDUC school social worker, counselor or nurse as needed. Visit www.ucityschools.org/CommunityResources2020 for more resource options including your school staff contact information.
Please read on for your weekly School Nurse newsletter with topics from first-aid tips and dealing with asthma to how to wear a mask or wash clothing properly during Covid-19.
More information is also available at www.ucityschools.org/DistrictNews.
If you have any health questions, please email your school nurse:
- Barbara C. Jordan Elementary School:
Nurse Erika Buckels: email@example.com
- Jackson Park Elementary School:
Nurse Johnnye Farrell: Jfarrell@ucityschools.org
- Flynn Park Elementary School:
Nurse Cherich Jones: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pershing Elementary School:
Nurse Patricia Chandler: email@example.com
- University City High School:
Nurse Madison Dusenberry: firstname.lastname@example.org
- District Lead Nurse/Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Education Center/Brittany Woods Middle School:
Nurse Patricia Wilson: email@example.com or 314-651-7268
FIRST AID Tips (approved by Dr. Campbell, our school district’s medical consultant)
- Bruises: Apply cold compresses or ice pack to the injured part for 10 minutes and elevate the area.
- Burns: Flush with cool water for up to 10 minutes. Do not break blisters, if it breaks, clean with soap and water and apply triple antibiotic ointment and a clean dressing. If it is a third-degree burn involving muscle and bone, call 911. If you feel it requires medical care, call your doctor before going to the emergency room.
- Cuts & Abrasions: Wash the area with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment and band-aid, if necessary keep the area clean and dry.
- Puncture Wounds: Wash wound with soap and water for 5 minutes and apply antibiotic ointment. Apply a clean band-aid or clean dressing. To control bleeding: apply direct pressure over the wound for 5 minutes with a clean dressing wearing gloves if available. If bleeding continues longer than five (5) minutes, call 911 (emergency). Follow up with your child’s physician as needed for any type of puncture wound. Puncture wounds are sharp and pointed objects through the skin that usually cause a small opening such as a nail. They can easily become infected.
- Animal Bites: Clean the bite and surrounding area with soap and water and then apply antibiotic ointment and a clean dressing. Notify the police and county animal control at 314-615-0650, if the animal is unknown.
- Ear Ache: Check temperature. May give acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) for comfort, cool compress to the outer ear and follow up with a physician.
- Fever: Give acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) as directed by a physician and plenty of fluids for a temperature of 100.4°F or above. Additional symptoms to consider are cough, runny nose, body aches, vomiting, and sleepiness or tiredness. Call your doctor as soon as possible.
- Insect Bites and Stings: If an allergic reaction should occur and you have an Epi-pen, administer medication and call 911. If you do not have an Epi-Pen and you see difficulty breathing and hives, call 911 (emergency). Treat swelling and redness with a cold compress.
- Nose Bleed: Sits up with head slightly forward with nose pinched to close the nostril. Apply pressure for 5 to 10 minutes and breathe through the mouth. If bleeding does not stop in 20 minutes, call your doctor or urgent care.
- Sore Throat: Check temperature and gargle with salt water, or give throat lozenges.
INSURANCE: If you are turned away from urgent medical care due to a lack of insurance or in need of health insurance due to life changes, contact Earlene Bolton, Children Legal Services at 314-256-8753. She is working remotely. Leave a message and she will return your phone call.
FOOD: As of March 20, The School District of University City established Grab & Go meals for all District children. Plan changes begin week of April 6. Learn more at www.ucityschools.org/GrabAndGo and/or sign up directly at www.ucityschools.org/MealsSupport. If you need larger quantities of food from a food bank or additional resources, visit https://www.ucityschools.org/CommunityResources2020.
According to CDC new guidelines, members of the general public should wear masks outside their homes, whether or not they’re sick. Some infected people don’t have symptoms and can spread the virus to others and cloth face coverings can slow the spread of the virus. People wearing the cloth masks are to take the same precautions such as hand washing, social distancing of 6 feet, and staying home as much as possible. The mask can be laundered daily in hot soap and water and reused. This is not a mandate but a public health voluntary measure. The cloth face coverings can be made from household items and surgical masks or N-95 respirators should be reserved for healthcare workers and medical first responders as recommended by current CDC guidance.
COVID-19, Cold, Flu, Allergies… How Can I Tell the Difference?
Allergy season is starting and COVID-19 has similar symptoms. How can I tell the difference? The chart below may help you figure out if you are feeling symptoms of allergies or COVID-19. If you have a fever and cough, you should always call your doctor.
The media has mentioned a loss of smell and taste as a new sign of COVID-19. In milder cases, 30% of people infected with COVID-19 loss their sense of smells. Loss of smell can also happen in a few individuals who have other types of upper respiratory infection such as a colds or flu from nasal swelling. Other causes that affect your ability to smell are nasal polys, tumors, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, and traumatic brain trauma or head injury as well as whiplash. If you lose your ability to smell suddenly without any explanation, call your doctor and check for other symptoms of COVID-19.
If you have asthma, allergies and colds are asthma triggers. It is important to continue to take your asthma medication to keep your asthma under control. Spring pollen is increasing so it is important to follow your allergy treatment plan to keep allergies under control. This will also control asthma symptoms and prevent attacks.
Common symptoms of asthma include:
- Wheezing (a whistling, squeaky sound when you breathe)
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid breathing
- Chest tightness
Seek medical help immediately for:
- Fast breathing with chest retractions (skin sucks in between or around the chest plate and/or rib bones when inhaling)
- Cyanosis (very pale or blue coloring in the face, lips, fingernails)
- Rapid movement of nostrils
- Ribs or stomach moving in and out deeply and rapidly
- Expanded chest that does not deflate when you exhale
- Infants with asthma who fail to respond to or recognize parents
Please review the three asthma zones, green, yellow and red used by doctors on your child’s Asthma Action Plan. If you do not have an Asthma Action Plan, the zones can served as a temporary treatment plan for asthma until you are able to reach your doctor.
Stay Safe and Healthy! School Health Team
Walk-In Immunization Clinics: Click here for printable PDF (updated 040920)
- Parents/Guardians must be present with children under the age of 18 years.
- Families must bring ALL shot records.
(If you do not have an immunization record, your child will not be vaccinated.)
- Families must bring proof of insurance or Medicaid, if applicable.
(If you are uninsured, your child qualifies for the Vaccine For Children program*.)
The following accepts only private insurance, please verify with your insurance carrier on the back of your card before scheduling your appointment:
CVS Pharmacy: Minute Clinic
11560 Olive Blvd, Creve Coeur, MO 63141
Phone: (314) 995-7128 - Call for an appointment with Minute Clinic
The following will vaccinate ALL children:
North Central Community Health Center:
Pine Lawn Walk-in Immunization Clinic
4000 Jennings Station Road, Pine Lawn, MO 63121
Phone: (314) 615-9700
Clinic Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 - 3:00 p.m.
(The first Friday of every month is closed until 12:30 p.m.)
*Anyone 0-18 years of age with no insurance qualifies for the Vaccine For Children program. An administrative fee will still be charged to VFC parents, based on the cost of the vaccine - ranging from $5-$20.
Should we worry about the COVID-19 getting on our clothing?
A study on the length of time the coronavirus lasts on hard surfaces was conducted by The National Institute of Health (NIH) and Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, March of 2020. Clothing is harder to disinfect, so it was not clear how long the virus survives on clothing. This study was not able to determine hours or days on clothing. (See chart below)
The experts do know that close contact is one way to catch the virus and staying home is the best defense. If you go out among the public, practice 6-feet social distancing while wearing a mask. Remember to wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and use hand sanitizers when hand washing is not available.
If you are in close contact with people for a long period of time, where the virus might linger on zippers and buttons, remove your clothing and put it in the washing machine. It’s the combination of detergent, warm water and physical agitation in the rinse and spin cycles that removes, inactivates, and washes away viral microbes, according to Don Schaffner, Ph.D., microbiologist professor at Rutger University in New Brunswick, N.J. After washing, dry your clothes in the dryer on high. CDC recommends washing your clothes using the warmest cycle to kill the virus. Detergent plus bleach for whites and colored fabrics may help inactivate viral microbes in the wash, according to the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene.
In conclusion, the best way to inactivate the viral microbes is to wash your laundry on the warmest cycle using the full wash cycle. The best detergent is mixed with bleach but the wash cycle alone is just as effective according to one researcher. Do not shake the clothes. Immediately place them in the dryer on a hot cycle. The virus dies at temperatures above 133 ΟF.
Using a Laundromat: If the building is being used, wait until you are able to practice social distancing. You want to consider a schedule set by the building to do laundry. Sort your laundry before you go and fold clean laundry at home to lessen your time in the place. Clean and disinfect all surfaces before you use it. If you have your own cart, use it. If you use the laundromat cart, disinfect it before using it.
Bring sanitizing wipes to wipe down the machine handles, tops and buttons. Wash hands before and after washing clothes. Do not hang out inside the laundry room while your clothes are washing. The less time spent in close contact with people, the less opportunity of becoming ill.
Which mask is being worn correctly?
(see the answer at end of newsletter)
Caring for Someone Who is Sick
Wear gloves when doing laundry for someone sick, especially if there are body fluids such as secretions from coughing and nose drippings. Throw the gloves away after each use. If you handled laundry without gloves, make sure you wash your hands for 20 seconds. Make sure you do not shake the laundry when transferring it from the basket to the machine or washer to dryer. This could disperse the virus in the air. If you wash clothes as directed, it is not necessary to separate laundry.
- Monitor for emergency signs such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, fever that does not decrease with Acetaminophen (Tylenol), worsening headache, difficult to awaken, and confusion
- Prevent the spread of disease: The sick person is isolated until all symptoms are gone and feeling better. If a separate bathroom is not possible, the patient must wear a mask outside of their isolation room. Hand washing, disinfecting and sanitizing is done daily and frequently.
- Treat symptoms.
- Keep the doctor up-to-date and know when to end the isolation.
- Go to CDC.Gov for the list of signs to end isolation.
How long does the coronavirus last on surfaces?
Information is constantly changing but it does serve as a reminder of the importance of cleaning all surfaces. The packages we received should be sanitized or stored for a few days in the garage before opening and remember to wear gloves and wash your hands after handling it.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has now published a list of disinfectants and active ingredients that can be used against the Sars-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19).
Some of the product brands on the EPA’s list include:
- Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Cleaner Spray
- Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
- Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist
- Professional Lysol Disinfectant Spray
- Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Wipes
- Peak Disinfectant Wipes
- Sani-Prime Germicidal Spray
- Sani-Cloth Prime Germicidal Disposable Wipes
Doremalen, Bushmaker, and Morris (2020) Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1. The New England Journal of Medicine
Gray, R (2020) Covid-19: How long does the coronavirus last on surfaces? BBC FUTURE
Immunization Reminders (updated 041520)
TDaP (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) and Meningitis ( MCV4) vaccines are required for students enrolling in the 8th grade. Verification of the teen-age MCV4 is also required for students by age 16. This is a required vaccine for college.
If your child is entering kindergarten or new to The School District of University City, please check with your pediatrician to verify if their immunizations are up to date. This is a required part of the District’s enrollment procedures.
If your child has not been immunized within the last year and you do not have a pediatrician or family doctor, the North Central Community Health Center accepts walk-in immunization patients at the Pine Lawn Clinic, located 4000 Jenning Station Road (63121). The clinic is open 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 - 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except closes at 12:30 p.m. the first Friday of every month. Call: 314-615-9700 if you have questions.
FACT or MYTH?
ANSWER: The Correct Way to Wear a Mask:
When wanting to be sure our homes are clean and sanitized, it might seem like a good idea to mix different cleaning products to get double the power to clean up messes. However, many cleaning products contain chemicals, that when mixed with other chemicals from a different product, can create something toxic. Before you start scrubbing down your bathroom or giving your kitchen countertops a much needed clean, make sure you know about these cleaning products you should never mix.
A list of safe cleaning products to use to disinfect and sanitize was included in the SDUC School Nurse Health Tip Issue #3 (updated April 15, 2020).
These supplies may be in short supply in the store, but mixing some cleaning products can lead to irritated airways, respiratory problems, or burns to skin, eyes, throat, nose, and lungs. Some gases created from combined cleaning products could cause damage of the nervous system, eyes, lungs, skin, liver, kidneys, and even death. Please handle all cleaning products with care!
Help Keep Children Safe
As school nurses, we have a few health tips especially for early childhood families and our future learners. Young children are the most curious and eager to learn. This curiosity is one way our early learners explore their world. It is important as adults we make their world as safe as possible. Remember to clean and sanitize all toys. If supplies are stored low, please remember to keep cabinets locked.
Communication from the School Nurses
If you have medication at school, you will be receiving a letter or phone call from your school nurse to make arrangements to pick up your child’s medication. A few students were also fitted for glasses by Kids Vision for Life. Your school nurse will also be contacting you concerning your glasses. Crown Vision is not available for eyeglass replacement until further notice.
Pandemic Preparedness: At-Home Essentials
What to do when a pandemic is declared? How do we prepare? If I get sick or someone in my household is sick, how much and what should I purchase?
- Purchased enough supplies to last you and your family for about 2 to 3 weeks.
- Masks and gloves are necessary for carrying for the sick. If worn correctly, a mask and social distancing can provide protection.
- Give Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for an elevated temperature.
Do not give Aspirin to children.
- If you get sick do everything possible to avoid passing it to others.
- Remain inside and away from people and pets until you are well.
- Wear a mask to prevent passing the disease.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Walk outside at a safe distance, if you are feeling well enough to exercise.
Need a Little Help?
Different insurance plans offer different resources for their members. Home State Health offers Aunt Bertha as a community resource directory to help find food, housing and job training programs. More details can be found at AuntBertha.com… just enter your zip code for more details regarding food, goods, housing work, education, transit, legal money and health.
For a 24/7 Nurse Advice Line visit www.homestatehealth.com/ members/medicaid/nurse-on-call.html
MissouriCare (www.wellcare.com/missouri) also offers resources at no cost for their members who are seeking additional services.
The School District of University City has a team of school counselors, social workers and nurses available for our students and families. Their contact information along with a variety of additional local resources including food and housing is available at www.ucityschools.org/CommunityResources2020.
For any questions or suggestions regarding SDUC School Nurse
Health Tips, please call 314-290-4029.