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Susan Thompson, School Nurse
The middle school years can be tough on you, your child, and your relationship because your child is going through physiological and mental changes that often result in more defiant behaviors. This is normal! The following are some tips for how to get through it.
Focussing on negatives often leads to negative outcomes. Keep talking with your child about the positive things in their life like their healthy interests, healthy friendships, and passions (even if you don’t understand them). This will help keep the lines of communication open in later years.
Seeking advice in a difficult time is smart, but don’t sell your instincts short. An alternate perspective can give you new ideas but value what your heart and your gut tell you.
The amount of control you have on your child will decline dramatically over the next few years. That’s a good thing! It means your child is growing into a healthy adult. During this time they will do and say some things that will make you worried, angry, and want to lock them in a tower. When this happens, take a few deep breaths to help you get some perspective and ask yourself, "Are they hurting themselves or others? Are they doing irreparable damage to their future?" If you don't pick your battles, you'll wear yourself out.
On the other hand, don’t let a difficult situation scare you away from giving your child the help that they need. Self-harm, violence, drug abuse, or mental/emotional disturbances must be addressed quickly and supportively. Your child's teachers, counselors, and administrators at Rogers-Herr will be more than happy to help you with this if you have any concerns!
Discipline shouldn't require strict obedience, it should shape your child's mind and character so they become responsible adults. Sit with your pre-teen and develop 2-5 expectations, rules, and consequences. Then put it on the fridge as a reminder you both. When your child breaks a rule or doesn't meet an expectation, simply apply the consequence and go on with your day! Your kid may get mad but don't have to because the discipline is already done! When arguments become more intense, your child will take any consequences you levy more personally, making them less effective. You and your pre-teen only have about five more years before they'll be making most of their decisions on their own! Be available to guide them through difficult decisions, let them make informed choices, and be prepared to support them when they inevitably make mistakes.
They won't need to get another dose of Tdap vaccine. Only one is required.
You can get them at your doctor's office or local health department. Only your health care provider can tell you how much they cost but health insurance usually covers it. If your child is eligible for Medicaid, has no health insurance, has health insurance that doesn't cover the cost, or is Native American, he or she can receive the vaccines from the state at no cost.
If your child is uninsured, apply for Medicaid or NC Health Choice (which are free or low-cost health insurance programs for children and teens) through your local department of social services. Learn more about these child health insurance programs at this link.
Contact your child's health care provider or local health department to schedule an appointment to receive Tdap and Meningitis vaccines. Before you leave your appointment, make sure you get a Certificate of Immunization (shot record) that documents that these vaccines have been administered. You will need to show this document to prove that your child was vaccinated prior to entering the 7th grade.
Yes, the Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that children 11-12 years old receive vaccinations for Hepatitis A, HPV (Human Papillomavirus), Flu, and a second dose of Varicella (chickenpox). These vaccinations are not required by law but are strongly recommended for adolescents.
For additional information about the vaccines and diseases they protect against, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website or the NC Immunization Branch. And of course, please don't hesitate to talk with our School Nurse, your health care provider, or local health department.
Norovirus is highly contagious and causes swelling of the stomach and intestines, which leads to diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Norovirus is often called by other names, such as food poisoning and stomach flu. There are many types of Norovirus and you can get it more than once. Though they share symptoms, Norovirus is not related to the flu.
Influenza or flu viruses usually spread via droplets expelled from sick people when they cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get the flu by touching something that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes, or nose.
Symptoms of the flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults). Some people with the flu will not have a fever.
People with the flu may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5-7 days after. However, children and people with weakened immune systems can infect others for longer periods of time, especially if they still have symptoms.
Common misconceptions about the flu vaccine is that it can either give you the flu or instantly protect you from it. The flu vaccine is made from dead viruses that can't give you the flu, but some report a low-grade fever or general aches for up to two days. The flu vaccine doesn't start working until about two weeks after you get it and even then, no medical treatment works 100% of the time. Also, those allergic to chicken eggs should not get the typical flu shot; instead, ask for the "egg allergy version."
The first and most important thing you can do is to get a flu shot for yourself and your child every year, as early as possible (usually in September). In addition to getting vaccinated, you and your child can take everyday steps to help prevent the spread of germs like:
Keep your child home from school, daycare, or camp for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone (the fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine). A fever is defined as a 100°F temperature or higher.
Yes! Particularly if you live with someone who spends their days in a school (or hospital/long-term care facility)! Even if your child has been vaccinated, these germs will find a way into your home. Being infected with the flu is not fun for you or anyone you live with, particularly if you're a parent/guardian. People who are classified as high risk (below) REALLY shouldn't mess around!
|Body aches||Not usually||Almost always, often severe|
|Congestion, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing||Almost always||Sometimes|
|Exhaustion||Sometimes, but never extreme||Almost always, usually extreme|
|Fever||Not usually||Almost always|
|Location of symptoms||Above the neck||Entire body|
|Typical duration||About a week||1-3 weeks|
Ticks can live in wooded areas, brushy fields, and virtually anywhere around your home. They survive on the blood of their hosts and can spread diseases like Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Ticks can detect animals' breath, smells, body heat, moisture, and vibrations. These 8-legged arachnids often pick a place to wait by identifying well-used paths and rest on the tips of grasses and shrubs. They hold on to leaves and grass with their third and fourth pair of legs while holding their first pair of legs outstretched. When a host brushes the spot where a tick is waiting, it grabs hold with it's outstretched legs and quickly climbs aboard.
Check your body, clothing, and gear for ticks whenever you've spent time enjoying nature. If you find a tick attached to you, find a pair of tweezers (don't use kerosene, matches, or nail polish) and grasp the tick near your skin, then pull steadily until it is removed. Be sure to clean and disinfect the area where the tick was. They're hard to squish so flush ticks down the toilet to get rid of them. Contact your doctor if you develop a rash or flu-like symptoms within the next few days of getting a tick bite.
The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine increases exponentially. At a 30° angle, the weight is about 45lbs, and at 60°, it’s 60lbs. That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone the way millions do for hours every day. Over time, this poor posture, sometimes called “text neck,” can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine and degeneration.
Can’t grasp the significance of 60 pounds? Imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours a day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts, or checking social media sites. “The problem is really profound in young people,” says Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine. “I would like to see parents showing more guidance.”
Tom DiAngelis, president of the American Physical Therapy Association‘s Private Practice Section, explained, “As you stretch the tissue for a long period of time, it gets sore, it gets inflamed." It can also cause muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated disks and, over time, it can even remove the neck’s natural curve. “Individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over.”
Hansraj said that smartphone users should, "Look down at your device with your eyes. No need to bend your neck. You can continue to enjoy your smartphones and continue to enjoy this technology, just make sure your head is up.”
If your child must take medication at school, you have the following options:
Purple drink (aka dirty Sprite, lean, or sizzurp) is a concoction of a high dose of prescription cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine, Sprite, and sometimes a Jolly Rancher. While glamorized in music and on social media, the sedating effects of promethazine, combined with the respiratory effects of codeine, has led to the hospitalization or death several celebrities.
Over-the-counter cough syrup can also be mixed with soda and abused. Sometimes called robo-tripping, consuming a large amount of the cough suppressant dextromethorphan is more common and can cause hallucinations and psychotic behavior. Mixing alcohol with prescription or over-the-counter cough syrup increases these risks.
Please talk with your child about the dangers associated with abusing drugs and alcohol. Click this link for more information.
This page last updated September 11, 2017