A registered nurse is present from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during regular school days. The school nurse has a multi-faceted role within the school, supporting the physical, mental, emotional, and social health of students and their success in the learning process.
- In order to address potential health problems that are barriers to learning or symptoms of underlying medical conditions, the nurses do yearly screening activities. They include vision, hearing, height, and weight, as well as head checks for lice/nits (three times annually for kindergarten and junior school students and once a year for middle and high school students). Kindergarten is done at the request of the teacher.
- Scoliosis screening is offered annually to middle school students.
- The school nurse works closely with the Administration and the Parents’ Association to ensure that the school is a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, and staff.
Food allergies are becoming more common, and we as school nurses must do all we can to provide students with a safe learning environment.
An allergy can be life threatening. Anaphylaxis is the severest form of allergy and can affect various organ systems including the upper and lower respiratory systems with the throat possibly closing. There is no special treatment for food allergies, so the best treatment is simply to avoid the food itself, and read food labels carefully.
Any foods that might cause an allergic reaction will be listed or included in the ingredients list. There are children who outgrow allergies like milk, and eggs as they grow older, but severe allergies like peanuts, and certain kinds of fish, and shrimp often last a lifetime.
Sacred Heart has an emergency procedure for our students with severe allergies. A prescription medication, prescribed by a doctor, is required.
We encourage the child’s parents to take an active role in supporting the child with allergies to participate fully in all activities:
- We ask that you contact the Nurse’s Office and the Homeroom teacher for guidance in selecting foods to be used during class parties or other special events.
- Provide written medical documentation, instructions, and medications as directed by a physician.
- Review food allergies and the emergency plan with your child’s teacher, and the school nurses.
- Continue to educate your child about their allergy including what foods are safe, and unsafe.
- Instruct your child to tell an adult if they are experiencing symptoms of a reaction.
- Instruct your child not to trade foods for another food or to share food with other students, and to eat only foods that have been identified as safe.
- Review the cafeteria menu to be sure that the choice of foods offered are safe for your child to eat.
With your help we can achieve our goal of keeping our students safe and protected at school!
For more information, please check these links:
Zahia Aratani and Sandey Stayanoff
CDC (Center of Disease Control) recommends:
The first and most important step is to get a flu vaccination each year. But if you get the flu, there are prescription antiviral drugs that can treat your illness. Early treatment is very important. Everyday preventive actions may slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu.
How the flu is spread?
Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or talking to someone with the flu.
People infected with flu may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick. That means you may be able to spread the flu to someone else before you know you are sick as well as while you are sick. Young children, those who are severely ill, and those who have severely weakened immune systems may be able to infect others for longer than 5-7 days.
What are everyday preventive actions?
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you or your child gets sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you (or your child) stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after use and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve, not your hand.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
General Health Information
- Kid’s Health - Information about health, behavior and development from before birth through teen years (in English)
- WHO - World Health Organization (in English)
- IDSC - Infectious Disease Surveillance Control (both in Japanese and English)
- MOFA - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan both in Japanese and English)
Medicine (Drug) Information
- Japan Pharmaceutical Reference (both in Japanese and English)
- Kusuri-no-Shiori (both in Japanese and English)
- Infectious Disease Surveillance Center (Japan) - both in Japanese and English
- Vaccine Prevetable Diseases (Japan) - in Japanese
- National Institute of Infections Diseases (Japan) - in Japanese
- Japan Pediatric Society (Japan) - both in Japanese and English
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.) - in English
- NHS Vaccination Schedule (U.K.) - in English
- Immunise Australia Program (Australia) - in English
- English link to check any Japanese medications
Useful at Japanese Clinics/Hospitals
- Multilingual Medical Vocabulary database (both in Japanese and English)
- Multilingual Medical Questionnaire- fill out and bring it to the clinic (15 languages)
- Japan Healthcare Info - locates English-speaking doctors and makes appointments
- A student/faculty/staff member diagnosed with Influenza must stay home for five days from the first day the symptoms appeared. The school must be informed of an Influenza diagnosis.
- Upon returning to the school, the person must be checked by the school nurse before going to class.
- If a fever persists, the student/faculty/staff member should stay home until fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication.