Monday, November 06, 2006

School Nurses can educate children about Infection

Strep Throat
It’s that time of year when children start to miss school days from being sick. Coats are forgotten and the weather turns to cold. Children are confined to the classroom and hand washing techniques are not always completed. This encourages the spread of infection.
Strep throat is an infection that is very common among school-aged kids and teens. The common symptoms of strep throat include fever, stomach pain, and red, swollen tonsils. Further symptoms that will develop within three days include:
red and white patches in the throat
difficulty swallowing
tender or swollen glands (lymph nodes) in the neck
general discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
loss of appetite and nausea

The bacteria can spread easily from person to person by sneezing, coughing, or shaking hands. After experiencing several symptoms, a call to the child’s doctor is a good idea. Most likely the doctor will do a rapid strep test and the infection can be diagnosed in a few minutes.

Treatment for strep throat is an antibiotic medication prescribed from the doctor. Also, it is important that the child gets plenty of rest and drinks plenty of fluids in order to prevent dehydration. In about 24 hours after taking the antibiotics, the temperature should be back to normal and the child should no longer be contagious. After a few days, the symptoms should start to go away.
It is very important to teach children in the classroom the importance of Hand Washing!

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