March 23, 2018
Since we returned from the break I’ve been delighted to see a significant decline in Flu and influenza-like illness in the health room. This week most of my visitors have had the following three complaints:
Stomach pain can be tough to figure out. I ask a lot of questions and usually find one of the following causes: constipation, hunger, gas, suspected viral illness, or anxiety.
Constipation has been the most common culprit. I recommend a diet full of fruits and vegetables and lots of water. “P” fruits can be especially helpful (i.e. plums, peaches, pears which are fortunately all coming in to season.) Unfiltered pear juice is another very helpful option. A high fiber diet is recommended but keep in mind that without adequate hydration, fiber can make constipation worse. A nightly walk can also help as the gentle motion stimulates peristalsis (the movement of the intestines). Here is a link to a helpful article with more info:
Hunger: Providing a protein rich breakfast with some fat can help prevent that late morning hunger-related tummy ache.
Gas: Figuring out foods that cause gas and learning what gas pains feel like can be helpful.
Viral illness can largely be prevented by washing hands after using the restroom and before eating/touching one’s face.
Anxiety: Recognizing anxiety, talking about stressors and mindful breathing can be very helpful in relieving anxiety and its physical manifestations. Visit AISD SEL blog here for some stress reduction strategies: https://austinisdselblog.com/2016/03/28/mindful-brain-first-aid-for-test-season/
Scraped Knees and Elbows:
Wearing long sleeves and long, thick pants can help reduce the frequency of severity of scrapes and playground boo-boos. We all work hard to keep the children safe but skinned knees and elbows are very common for this age. Here in the health room we don’t use any harsh products to clean, just water and a tiny drop of soap. Hydrogen Peroxide and Alcohol sting and can irritate delicate tissues. The following link is from the American Academy of Pediatrics and contains lots of helpful tips. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/injuries-emergencies/Pages/Treating-Cuts.aspx
Seasonal Allergies/Itchy Eyes:
It’s pollen season! The flowers are beautiful and the allergies are terrible. If your child has seasonal allergies it can be helpful to watch the pollen counts and consider giving appropriate over-the-counter antihistamines and eye drops before school. It’s also a great idea to teach your child to wash his/her face when they come in from outdoors if they are bothered by allergies. Also, if your child has asthma, it’s a great idea to keep a rescue inhaler in the health room for emergencies.
If you have questions or concerns, you can always reach me by calling 512-841-2416 or email me at AskNurseBarbara@gmail.com.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful children with us!
Barbara Pestien, RN, MSN