The Ray School has a program of comprehensive school health, the goal of which is to promote healthy lifestyle practices. Through the Health Office, we conduct annual screenings for hearing and vision. An influenza immunization clinic is offered each year allowing students to receive a free flu vaccine during the school day.
The Health Office is open full time for assessment and decision-making in the treatment of any injuries or illnesses which occur at school. I am always available to discuss any health concerns or changing needs of your child. Please feel free to call or drop in any time.
The elementary school years are an important time for the development of healthy lifestyle practices. Children learn healthy behaviors through physical education, the lunch room, our guidance program and through observation of the many adults at the Ray School.
NH Immunization Requirements
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Immunization Department has very clear requirements for children enrolled in public school. You can find these requirements on the State's site.
Varicella (Chicken Pox) seems to be the immunization that has the most questions. In the State of NH you can no longer report chicken pox disease as proof of immunity. For our elementary school population you need to have either two doses of the varicella vaccine OR have laboratory confirmation of immunity (a blood test).
If you have any questions regarding immunizations please contact me in the health office.
How a child might describe an allergic reaction:
- This food is too spicy.
- My tongue is hot (or burning).
- It feels like something’s poking my tongue.
- My tongue (or mouth) is tingling (or burning).
- My tongue (or mouth) itches.
- My tongue feels like there is hair on it.
- My tongue/mouth feels funny.
- My tongue feels full (or heavy).
- There’s a frog in my throat.
- My lips feel tight.
- It feels like there are bugs in my ears (itchy ears).
- My throat feels thick.
- It feels like a bump is on the back of my tongue (throat).
- Young children may put their hands in their mouths or pull or scratch at their tongues.
- Children’s voices may change (ie: become hoarse or squeaky).
- Children may slur their words.
The Hanover School District is committed to maximizing students’ academic performance and physical well being in a healthy and safe environment. The District recognizes that head lice do not pose a health hazard, are not a sign of uncleanliness, and are not responsible for the spread of disease. An evidence based approach to head lice will reduce unnecessary absence from school, limit embarrassment of students, decrease unnecessary exposure to potentially toxic chemicals used to treat head lice, and calm anxiety on the part of parents and school staff. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Nurses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Harvard School of Public Health have all recommended that students with nits and/or live lice not be excluded from school.
Based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Board recognizes that school-wide screening for nits alone is not an accurate way of predicting which children will become infested with head lice, and screening for live lice has not been proven to have a significant decrease on the incidence of head lice in a school community and is not recommended. Research indicates that education of parents in identifying and managing head lice is more effective.
The District defines a healthy and safe environment as one in which adults work together to provide the following environmental factors established by current research and accepted practice as necessary for the health and well being of students with head lice, their classmates and other students and adults at the school:
- Educating staff, students and parents/guardians about head lice.
- Establishing evidence based management for students with head lice.
- Respecting student confidentiality
Natural light is the best light to check hair. You may use a bright light if necessary and a magnifier.
You are looking for adult lice and their eggs (called nits). You’re more likely to see nits than adults because nits are firmly attached to the hair and do not move.
As you look through the hair, look closely at the hair behind the ears and around the nape of the neck. These are likely places to find lice and nits.
If the person has adult lice or nits, you will see the following:
Adult lice: These look like one or more light-brown objects that resemble sesame seeds, often moving quickly. You can find these on the scalp or the hair.
Nits (Eggs): These are yellow, brown, or tan objects that look like tiny seeds and appear to be cemented to individual hairs close to the scalp. Sometimes dandruff and hair product are mistaken for nits, nits will not brush off easily.
Please let the school nurse know.
Do not be afraid. Lice is not an illness or infection.
There are many treatment options available: over the counter treatments, prescription treatment, and natural treatments.
You may consult your physician for help in choosing a treatment. I am available to help with treatment recommendations as well.
There are no over-the-counter or prescription treatments to kill lice that are 100% effective against head lice and nits.
Regardless of what treatment you chose to use, combing and manual removal of the live lice and nits is the most effective part of any head lice treatment regimen.
Following the treatment, your child’s hair should be checked daily for nits for at least a week after the last nit has been seen. This is a very important step because the nits are eggs that can hatch into more lice and then they lay more eggs. This can take a lot of time but it is a necessary step. If you have any questions about what the nits look like, please do not hesitate to contact the health office.
A metal fine -toothed lice comb should be used for combing. Conditioner on hair while combing helps to loosen the nits on the hair. Apply conditioner to hair and comb with lice comb section by section. It is helpful to use hair clips or pins to make sections. The first comb-through could take a couple of hours depending on how much hair your child has.
Some recommendations show that using essential oil overnight on the hair can help kill the nits. If you choose to use oil, it should be applied for 7 days after the last nit is seen.
Wash hair with essential oil shampoo every day and make sure all the overnight oil is removed.
Then rinse the hair again and dry hair so you may check for lice/nits. If you still see nits then manually remove them. Use your fingernails to grab nit and pull off hair shaft.
Clean lice comb in boiling water. Make sure all hair is removed from the comb before boiling.
• All bedding and pajamas should be dried on high heat for one hour everyday for at least 4 days. Sometimes it is just easier to have child sleep with a sleeping bag and no sheets. Also dry child's backpack.
• Do not use brushes on your child's hair for the week of treatment.
• If you can, throw all old brushes and combs away as well as hair ties. If that is not possible, remove all hair from the hair supplies and boil them in very hot water or wash in dishwasher. you'll need to check your child's hair daily for lice. Lice are so small they are easy to overlook. If you missed just a few tiny lice or eggs, the lice will start over again. Most of the time, parents believe their child was re-infested, but in fact, all the lice/nits were never eliminated with their first attempt.
Please talk to your children about these steps to help prevent the spread of head lice.
• Avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during play and other activities at home, school, and elsewhere (sports activities, playground, slumber parties, camp). Lice do not jump or fly.
• Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, hair ribbons, or barrettes. Store hats and scarves in coat sleeves.
Do not share combs, brushes, or towels.
The Hanover School District will follow evidence based research from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC and the Harvard School of Public Health for management of lice in the school setting.
The goals of providing a healthy and safe environment for students with head lice are to:
- Maximize academic performance
- Minimize absences due to unnecessary exclusion of students with head lice
INFLUENZA - THE FLU
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It can cause mild to severe illness. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly.
While it is best to get the flu vaccine before flu activity begins in the community, it is not too late. A flu vaccine is the first step in preventing the flu. Flu vaccine benefits:
- Can prevent you from getting sick from the flu.
- Can reduce the risk of flu associated hospitalization.
- Important for people with chronic health conditions.
- Can lessen the symptoms if you contract the flu.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical or for other necessities.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
This 30 second video above, from the CDC, demonstrates what is happening to the brain when you experience the forces that can cause concussion.
Prevention in Children
- Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle
- Wearing a helmet, and making sure children wear a helmet when:
- riding a bike or scooter
- playing a contact sport
- using in-line skates or skateboard
- batting in baseball or softball
- riding a horse
- skiing or snowboarding
- Making living areas safe for children
- Making sure the surface on your child's playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as mulch or sand
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a concussion campaign called "Heads Up" Know your concussion ABCs