22 October 2021

Updates from the Butler School Nurse - October 2021

Updates from the Butler School Nurse

 

Illness and Symptom Checking

Families, we need your help! With the cold and flu season upon us (yes, already!), we are seeing an increase in students experiencing cold-like symptoms. Because cold and flu symptoms are often very similar to COVID-19 symptoms, we all must continue to look at the  Daily Symptom Checker each day before school. This is vitally important to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as well as typical cold and flu illnesses in our community. Symptoms can also mimic seasonal allergies,  so please do not overlook any signs of illness.

Please be sure to answer the following questions before coming to school each day.

Has your child had any of the following symptoms within the last 24 hours? 

  • Fever greater than 100°F
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle or body aches (not related to physical injury)
  • Cough (not due to a chronic condition)

Has your child had any two or more of the following symptoms within the past 24 hours? 

  • Sore throat
  • Nausea*
  • Vomiting*
  • Diarrhea*
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose  

*If your child has vomiting or diarrhea, please be sure to keep them home for 24 hours, even if this is their only symptom. 

Does your child have a COVID-19 test pending (other than a test done at school)?

If you answer YES to any questions, you must keep your student home and complete the Butler Absence Form This form notifies me, the nurse, so that I can be in touch with you regarding a safe return plan for your student.

In order to be cleared to return to school following symptoms, your student will need either a negative PCR COVID-19 test result or a note from their doctor with an alternative diagnosis (flu, strep throat, ear infection, etc)

Masks

All students, staff, and visitors must continue to wear masks (covering the nose and mouth) while indoors. This applies to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Please be sure to send your student to school each day with a well fitting mask and at least two back up masks.

Pool Testing

Testing programs are up and running in our elementary schools. Routine Safety Checks (formerly known as pooled testing) began at the Butler School on October 18th due to the additional help from the National Guard. 

The Test and Stay Program is available for unvaccinated individuals that are identified as a 0-3 feet close contact while at school.Please watch this pool testing video for more information, we encourage all families to participate in testing. To prepare your child for in school testing, you can watch this video together. 

Complete the Consent Form if you would like your student to participate in our testing program. Students that are identified as 0-3 feet close contacts at school that are NOT consented to testing, will be required to quarantine at home.

Halloween Reminder

With Halloween right around the corner, please remember the many students (and some staff) with life threatening food allergies in our school. Interestingly, candy is the #1 offender of hidden allergens. I encourage everyone to think of creative ways to keep our students healthy and happy this Halloween.

Our school policy includes not giving out any candy, chocolate, or food in classrooms and reminding all students not to share or trade any “treats”. This is important not only during Halloween, but at all times to avoid potential illness and food related reactions.

Please do not send any candy to school. We are trying to teach good nutrition, keep children with food allergies safe, and support children with obesity and other health conditions.

Tips for a safe and helpful Halloween:

  • Consider participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project which is a worldwide movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all kids, especially those with food allergies, by providing non-food treats and  posting a ‘teal pumpkin’ picture in your window. For  more information visit www.foodallergy.org
  • Consider having your child donate a portion of their candy to those less fortunate. For some ideas check out this site
  • Inspect your child’s treats carefully. Throw away anything that may have been tampered with or containing small pieces of hard candy that may be a choking hazard for young children.
  • Here are some safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics given the ongoing pandemic.

Most of all, stay safe, have fun, and enjoy the outdoors!

All nursing updates and links to forms can be found on the BPS Nursing Health & Safety website. Thank you for all you do to help ensure the health and safety of our community during this continued challenging time. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

 

Lisa Harteveldt BSN, RN

Butler School Nurse

617-993-5556

lharteveldt@belmont.k12.ma.us