Notes from the Nurse for February
Notes from the Nurse
Posted on 02/05/2018

Cold and Flu Season

Schools, as well as local healthcare providers, are mandatory flu surveillance monitors for our local health district.  If absentee rates increase, the office staff will begin asking what symptoms your child is experiencing when you call to report an absence. 

Flu symptoms usually include: fever with any combination of:  cough, sore throat, body aches, chest congestion, headache, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

There are a few tried-and-true things that you can do easily to help keep yourself and your family healthy this season.

  1. Wash hands well and often! Hand hygiene, as simple as it sounds, is the easiest way to prevent the spread of illness. Make sure that your kids are washing their hands several times per day and teach them to clean all surfaces of their hands. Germs often hide in areas that kids neglect to wash, such as between fingers and around fingernails. Scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds and rinse with warm water.

  2. Correct sneeze/cough etiquette. Demonstrate and instruct your kids how to sneeze or cough into your arm or elbow. This helps prevent germs from flying and hitting random surfaces or people. Using your hand is not advisable either as you may spread germs by transferring them to other surfaces.

  3. Get your flu shot. The influenza vaccine is a safe and effective way to try and protect yourself against the seasonal flu.  For information about the flu vaccine, visit

  4. Eat healthy, stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables, which pack nutrients and help lower the risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Also, be active for at least 2½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.

  5. If your child is sick, keep them home! Kids that have a fever over 100 degrees, experience vomiting, diarrhea, or rash should stay home to rest and heal up.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our school safe and healthy!

— Nurse Amy

When Parents Should Keep Students Home From School

  • Fever (considered as temperature of 100° or greater): Student must stay home until fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.
  • Diarrhea (considered as more than twice in a 24 hour period): Student must stay home until no loose stools for 24 hours, unless other symptoms are still present.
  • Vomiting: Student must stay home until he/she can tolerate a normal diet without vomiting for 24 hours.
  • Influenza (considered fever with one or more of the following: body aches, chills, sore throat, or cough): Student must stay home until symptom free for 24 hours
  • Rashes: Students with rashes accompanied by fever or other signs of illness must be evaluated by their health care provider and cleared to return to school.

Any questions about other illnesses your student is experiencing should be directed to your students school nurse or by calling Health Services directly at 360-662-1070

Head Lice and Schools

Head lice in school-aged children is a common occurrence throughout the country and our school district is no exception. Control of head lice depends on prompt identification and treatment. Your help in spending 5-15 minutes each week inspecting your child for the presence of head lice will help reduce the number of cases seen in our district each year.

The following procedure is recommended for inspecting your child for head lice:

  • Under a bright light, begin looking at your child’s head. Start with the areas just above the back of the neck & behind the ears.
  • Part the hair into small sections and look closely for head lice or nits (eggs).  Head lice are about the size of a sesame seed. Nits are gray or whitish and attached firmly to the hair shaft near the scalp.
  • If you find live lice on your child’s head, start treatment as soon as possible.  Your local pharmacist or health care provider can recommend appropriate treatment options.
  • Notify the office staff at your child’s school. Your child can return to school the day after treatment provided there are no remaining live lice. This information will be kept confidential.
  • If your child is found to have head lice, it is a good idea to check all family members for lice as well.

If you have further questions please contact your school’s nurse. Learn more from The Center for Disease Control, which has a web page with head lice frequently asked questions.