Nurse’s Notes: Health Tips!
The best way to prevent head injuries in children is through education and prevention strategies.
- Always use recommended safety equipment for sports and recreation.
- Helmets should be professionally fitted when able as in football, lacrosse, hockey, skiing, snowboarding, etc.
- Bike helmets should be clipped snuggly under the chin and worn for whenever biking, scootering, skating, rollerblading, rafting, zip lining, skateboarding, rock climbing etc.
- Always use seatbelts and car seats appropriate for age and weight.
- Stairs should be clear of clutter and have handrails on both sides.
- Never leave infants and young children alone on changing tables, beds or other high structures that they may roll off of.
The best way to prevent some headaches in children is through education and prevention strategies.
- Decrease food and drinks containing sulfites, nitrites, phenylalanine, histamines, processed cheeses, caffeine, chocolate and MSG.
- Keep a consistent sleep and waking time.
- Avoid foods and drinks close to bedtime.
- Eat breakfast everyday.
- Exercise routinely.
- Keep hydrated.
- Avoid the overuse of Tylenol and Motrin (more than 2-3 times per week) to prevent headaches as this can lead to rebound headaches.
- Monitor and reduce screen time as much as possible.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease appear 1-2 weeks after the tick bite, but can appear as early as three days after the bite or as many as 30.
- Initial symptoms may present as a viral illness with or without a rash.
- Symptoms include:
- Fever, chills, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle and joint aches
- May or may not have bullseye rash
- If you find an attached tick, hold fine-tipped tweezers parallel to the skin surface and grasp the tick close to the skin. Pull upward steadily (no twisting) to remove the entire tick in one piece. Disinfect the skin with either alcohol or soap and water.
- Ticks do not need to be saved or tested. Seal the tick on a piece of tape or submerse it in alcohol and dispose of it. Applying nail polish remover, burning the tick or smothering the tick in vaseline is not effective.
- Antibiotics are usually not necessary unless the tick has been attached for more than 36 hours.
- Call your PCP if you find an attached tick on your child.
- Walk in the center of trails avoiding heavy brush, leaf litter and tall grass.
- Keep lawns mowed and remove trash and overgrowth.
Stack and dry chopped wood. Keep lawn furniture and playground structures in the sun.
- Use insect repellent.
- Wear long sleeves and tuck pants into socks.
- Utilize pet tick control.
- Bathe within 2 hours of entering the home.
- During daily tick checks, focus on under arms, in and around the ears, groin, inside belly button, behind the knees, around waistline and hairline.
- Sunscreen should be applied year round 20-30 minutes before exposure and reapplied every 90 minutes.
- UV rays can reflect off of water, sand, snow and ice to intensify exposure.
- The harmful UV rays of the sun are damaging to the eyes and skin.
- Between the hours of 10-4 pm the rays of the sun are the strongest.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
- Signs and symptoms although painful are usually temporary
- Reddened skin is warm and tender to the touch
- Pain is at its worst between 6 and 48 hours post burn
- Blisters make take hours to days to develop
- Peeling skin may occur several days after the sunburn
- Apply cold compresses or take a cool bath or shower
- Apply refrigerated lotion that contains menthol, aloe, or camphor
- Do not apply lotions to blisters and leave blisters intact when able
- Administer a medication to aid in pain control such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid the sun until the sunburn has healed
- Wear loose clothing
- Apply dry bandages to blisters
- Wear an SPF of at least 15 but 30 is ideal on skin exposed to the sun
- Wear a broad brimmed hat
- Wear UV protected sunglasses
- Use a lip balm with sunscreen
- Reapply sunscreen every 90 mins
CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless colorless gas found in combustion fumes. It is produced by cars, small engines, stoves, lanterns heating systems, burning charcoal, and wood and gas ranges. When the listed items are not in good repair or ventilated properly, excessive amounts of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) fill the air causing carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur anytime during the year. When alternative heating systems are used the risk increases significantly.
CO POISONING IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY!
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
- blurred vision
- chest pain
- confusion, dizziness
- nausea and vomiting
- shortness of breath
- Remove the victim away from the gas source and into a well ventilated area with plenty of fresh air
- Call 911
- Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in all homes near all sleeping areas, in living quarters and on every level.
- Always crack a window when running a parked car outdoors.
- Never run a car in a closed garage.
- Never run a generator in a garage or home.
- Never use gas stoves and ovens as heating sources during a power outage.
- Never use gas, charcoal or barbecue grills indoors as well as portable camp stoves. These items are meant for outdoor use only and use indoors can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup.
Frostbite occurs when skin is exposed to extreme cold. Blood vessels contract leading to a reduction in blood flow and lack of oxygen to the affected areas resulting in frozen body tissue.
- cardiovascular disease
- alcohol use
- circulatory problems
- major burn scars
- skin diseases and smoking
- Get to a place of indoors or shelter from the cold immediately.
- Remove all wet clothing.
- Remove all clothing or jewelry that could constrict blood flow
- Rewarm affected areas by immersing them in warm, not hot, water for 20-30 mins. The recommended rewarming temperature is 104-108 degrees.
- Warming is complete when sensation returns and the area becomes pink and soft.
- Pain is expected to the affected areas as the rewarming process continues.
- Monitor pulses to the affected extremities.
- Limit movement to the affected areas to as little as possible during the rewarming process.
- Providing warmed fluids to drink may also aid in rewarming.
- DO NOT thaw frostbitten areas if they can not be kept thawed
- DO NOT apply direct heat, such as a heating pad
- DO NOT rub or massage the affected areas
- DO NOT rub snow on affected areas
- DO NOT disturb intact blisters
- Wear layered, water resistant, warm clothing including mittens, hat, scarf, and wool socks
- Avoid alcohol and smoking during outdoor activities
- Stay hydrated
- Take breaks from the cold to get warm and rest
Hypothermia occurs when the core body temperature drops below normal – 95.1 to 98.6 degrees. Slowed respirations, shock, cardiac arrest and death may occur.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
- Mild: Severe shivering, slurred speech and amnesia
- Moderate: Unresponsiveness, confusion, muscle rigidity, and signs of shock
- Severe: Loss of deep tendon reflexes, dilated pupils, lack of palpable pulses, and no audible heart sounds.
- Rewarming both internal and external body surfaces.
- Go to a warm area and remove all wet clothing.
- Provide warm fluids with high sugar content, no caffeine.
- If moderate to severe hypothermia is suspected call 911 and get to an Emergency room for more advanced treatment options.
- Wear layered, water resistant, warm clothing including mittens, hat, scarf, and wool socks.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking during outdoor activities.
- Stay hydrated.
- Take breaks from cold and rest.
Heat syndrome can be classified as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat exhaustion usually affects young individuals who are exposed to high temperatures and humidity and then become dehydrated. Heat stroke or sunstroke is the most serious type of heat syndrome and is considered a medical emergency which requires hospitalization.
HEAT EXHAUSTION SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
- slight temperature elevation
- nausea and vomiting
- rapid thready pulse
- muscle and abdominal cramps
HEAT STROKE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
- muscle weakness and cramping
- hot, red, dry skin
- nausea and vomiting
- no sweating
- core body temp. above 104 degrees
- confusion and disorientation
- dilated pupils
- loss of consciousness
- throbbing headache
- hypertension followed by hypotension
HEAT EXHAUSTION TREATMENT:
- move to a cooler area, preferably an air conditioned room
- loosen clothing
- provide cool, but not icy fluids that contain electrolytes
HEAT STROKE TREATMENT:
- Call 911 and get to the nearest emergency room. Move to a cooler area and remove clothing.
POISON IVY, OAK AND SUMAC
These plants commonly cause allergic contact dermatitis when they come into contact with skin. All three plants produce similar skin reactions. An oil in the plants triggers an allergic response from both direct and indirect contact. Not everyone who comes into contact with these plants/oil develops contact dermatitis. The rash is NOT contagious and CANNOT be spread after it appears even if it is touched. The rash ONLY appears where the oil has come into contact with the skin.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
- generalized redness or red streaks
- small bumps or hives
- fluid filled blisters that may ooze
- rash usually appears 8-48 hours after coming into contact, but it can take up to 15 days
- rash can continue to develop in new areas over several days, but only in areas that have come into contact with the oil
- Immediately wash any and all areas of the skin that came into contact
- Clothing should be removed as soon as possible and immediately washed
- Wet compresses or soaking affected areas in cool water may help relieve symptoms
- Call your doctor for recommendations for medications for relief of symptoms
- Barrier creams may also be used to reduce symptoms
- Avoid scratching to help prevent infection
- Cover any draining areas with a bandage while in school
- Learn to recognize these poisonous plants which vary in appearance
- Remove these poisonous plants
- Use vinyl gloves when handling these plants or when gardening/doing yard work
- Wear long pants, long sleeves and enclosed footwear outdoors in areas where these plants are commonly found