Welcome to the Nurse's Corner! My name is Brandi Harrington. I am an alumni of St. Mary's Catholic School and graduated from Northwestern State University with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing. It is an honor to serve as St. Mary's nurse. I will be updating the nurse's corner with various health topics throughout the year. You may contact me via phone, (318)352-8394 or bharrington@smstigers.org


Do I have the Flu or just a Cold? 

What is the difference between a cold and the flu?

The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations. Flu can have very serious associated complications.

How can you tell the difference between a cold and the flu?

Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can tell if a person has the flu.

What are the symptoms of the flu versus the symptoms of a cold?

The symptoms of flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness). Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems.


A few reminders/updates: 

  • Please bring any medications your child needs during school hours directly to the nurse's office. At that time, you can complete and sign the appropriate form and discuss your child's needs with the nurse. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications, cough drops/lozenges and any supplements.  Parental Consent and Medication Order Forms may be found below. 
  • No medication may be kept in the backpacks without prior approval and documentation. 
  • Prescription medications must be in their original, labeled containers in order for the nurse to administer them to your child. 
  • If your child has any medical concerns (seizures, diabetes, food allergies, etc.), please contact the nurse and teacher. 
  • If your child has fever, monitor them at home until they have been fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. This will help prevent the spread of infection to other children and ensure that your child feels his or her best upon returning to the classroom. 
  • If your child is vomiting or has diarrhea, monitor them at home until they have been symptom-free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication. 
  • Head Lice is a common childhood nuisance. It can be costly to treat and very time consuming. Head lice are small, grayish-white insects. They do not fly nor jump. Nits, or lice eggs, look like bits of dandruff that cannot be easily removed from the hair strand like dandruff. Sharing of hats and brushes, direct contact, or sharing of any porous clothing can aid in the transfer of lice. Our policy is to check the entire classroom if a case is suspected in that room. If you suspect that your child has lice, please treat it immediately or contact your doctor or pharmacist for the recommended treatment. Please do not send your child back to school until they are totally clear to prevent this from further spreading. 
  • We encourage everyone to cover their coughs/sneezes with a tissue or by doing so with their arm and to keep their hands away from their nose, eyes, and mouth. Good hand washing is the #1 way to prevent the spread of infection. 

Important Dates:

  • October 11th-Dental Health Assembly for Pk-3 through 6th grade from 2-3. 
  • Red Ribbon Week October 23rd-27th

 

I hope this will be helpful and will increase awareness concerning health topics and trends involving your children. 

 

"It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing"-St. Teresa of Calcutta