Nurse News

School Health Tips


*Do have your child eat breakfast before school

*Do send extra underwear/clothes if your child still has occasional accidents

*Teach them to wash their hands.


Don’t send your child to school if he/she is visibly ill, has a bad cough or has a temperature. Keeping them home helps them recover faster and prevents spreading the illness to others.

How Kids Catch Colds

Mucus (say: MYOO-kus) is wet, slimy stuff inside the nose, mouth, and throat. When someone sneezes or coughs, mucus drops float in the air. Breathing in these droplets can spread a cold from one person to another.

You also can catch a cold if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth ( a.k.a. the “T” zone) after handling something with cold viruses on it. Video games, the doors at the mall, and your school desk are all hot spots for viruses. So be sure to wash your hands regularly.

Getting a cold works like space travel: The virus actually has docking points that stick to the inside of your nose — just like a small spaceship attaching to a mother ship! The virus takes over the cells lining the nose and begins creating more viruses.

White blood cells charge to the nose's rescue and cause cold symptoms, while also killing the virus that caused the cold. Runny noses and sneezing actually help to prevent viruses from invading other parts of your body.

You sneeze because your nerves detect the irritation in your nose and get the lungs to push a blast of air out through your nose and mouth. A sneeze can travel at more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) an hour — faster than a car travels on the road, unless you're at a racetrack!

Cold Clues

Symptoms (say: SIMP-tumz) are signs or clues that tell doctors you're sick. Once you've been in contact with a cold virus, it takes 2 to 3 days for cold symptoms to begin. You may have some of the following symptoms with a cold:

low fever (100-101°F / 37.2-37.8°C)

body chills

itchy or sore throat

sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes


feeling tired and not hungry

congestion (when your nose is stuffy and it's hard to breathe

Here are some feel-better tips:

  • Bring on the heat. Hot drinks soothe coughs and sore throats while also clearing mucus. So eat (or drink) your chicken soup!
  • Get steamed up. A steamy shower helps stuffy or irritated noses. Or run a humidifier (a small, quiet machine that sprays fine cool mist in the air) to relieve your scratchy throat and stuffy nose. Humidifiers make room air moist, which loosens mucus.
  • Practice healthy habits. Your immune system will be ready to fight colds if you eat a balanced diet, get plenty of sleep, and keep your body fit through regular exercise.
  • Blow your horn. Blowing your nose is the best way to get rid of mucus.
  • Rest. Take a nap or go to bed a little earlier for a few nights.
  • De-stress. Kids who are stressed out feel worse when they have colds. Relax and use the time to read, listen to music, or watch a movie. In other words, chill out and you might prevent a cold! Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD

School “Fever” rules

Fever is the body’s way of destroying the germs that are making it sick, and is a common symptom of infection.

Keep you child home if their temperature is 100.0 F or higher. Wait until the child is fever-free for 24 hours, without medication, before letting him/her return to school.

What Do I Do?

Health conditions ( illness, surgery ) and injuries (sprains, fractures) happen. When something occurs that requires the school to accommodate or adjust your child’s routine for a specified period of time, there are steps to follow. These are designed to make sure we keep your child healthy and safe.

Steps for adjustments to school routine:

Obtain written physician orders that explain: what change (s) must be made and for what length of time. (Example: No P.E for 2 weeks)

Bring the doctor’s note to the school. The Dr.’s office can fax the form to (575) 527-9711. Upon receipt, the school will make needed accommodations.

Facts about Head Lice

What are head lice?

Head lice are small insects, about the size of a sesame seed, which live along the hair shafts at the back of a human head at the nape of the neck and behind the ears. They have six legs and no wings so they cannot jump or fly.

The average infested person usually has about 10 to 20 live adult lice living on the scalp at any one time. The life span of the adult female is about one month, but during that time she can lay about 140 eggs called nits. Nits are tiny yellowish-white or grayish-white oval specks that are deposited on the hair shaft close to the scalp and are secured with a glue-like substance.

After 7 to 20 days, live nits hatch. About ten days later they mature, and females begin to lay eggs, starting the cycle again. The lice feed on human blood which they obtain by piercing the scalp, injecting anticoagulant saliva, and sucking. A single insect is called a louse. Two or more are called lice.

Head lice do not come out of the air or from the ground. They are human parasites and have probably been here since the beginning of time. Desiccated (dried up) head lice and their eggs (nits) have been found on the hair and scalps of Egyptian mummies.

What are the symptoms if someone has head lice?

The main symptom is mild to severe itching, but this is not always the case particularly when newly arrived on the head. Children with light infestations (1 to 5 lice) may not complain.

How do you know if it is head lice and not hair dander (dandruff/ hair product residue)?

Diagnosis is made by finding live lice or by the presence of nits. Hair dander can be scraped / picked off and appears more often as white flakes.

Can I get head lice from my cat or dog?

Head lice cannot live on cats, dogs, and other household pets. They only live and breed on a human host.

Treatment Options: Over-the-counter or prescription medication; non-pharmacological treatments that include use of olive, coconut, baby, vegetable, or corn oil or natural enzyme products such as Lice B Gone, Lice R Gone. Regardless of which product or method is used, EACH one requires that specific steps be followed for successful treatment.

Is treating the hair all you need to do? NO! Cleaning your surroundings is a critical step to avoid re-infestation of lice. And should begin immediately after treating the hair.

** Please refer to the HEAD LICE TREATMENT CHECKLIST for detailed instructions. This check list is attached and/or posted on the Highland School Website.

Head Lice Treatment Checklist