Mumps outbreak in King County
Public Health is investigating an emerging mumps outbreak in King County.
Fact sheets available in various languages at following link:
click on "Mumps fact sheet"
Miller Sherling, MSN, RN, NCSN shares space with the Teen Health Center. As GHS staff she is responsible for ALL students and staff - no special registration or appointments needed.
206-252-2277 (direct line)
206-743-3121 (secure fax line)
Hours: 8:15 am to 3:45 pm
Welcome to Garfield! I am at Garfield full time, across from the main office in 102. I look forward to working with you and your student to manage any acute or ongoing health concerns. All students should have received a Health Registration form in their packets; these should be filled out and returned directly to me annually. The recently updated form is also available at this link.
Medications at School?
Students who take medications regularly at school or who need ANY medicines at school on an occasional basis must have an Authorization for Medication form on file with the school nurse. Yes, this even includes medications like Tylenol and ibuprofen as well as allergy medications and inhalers! Complete the parent/guardian section, return directly to me and I will fax it to your doctor/clinic for their authorization. If your provider is through Group Health, you must fill out the provider's actual name and his or her fax number. This form must be renewed each school year and allows students to carry their medications or leave a supply, in their original containers, in the nurse office.
NO medications at school? NO need to return the medication authorization form!
If your student was caught in a disaster and stranded at school for several days would they have their needed medications? Do they ever forget their medications at home? Families are strongly encouraged to keep a 3-day disaster supply of medications (in original containers) at school with the nurse. Having a back up supply is particularly important for students with inhalers, epinephrine auto-injectors, diabetes and seizures. In addition, students with inhalers and epinephrine auto-injectors must have demonstrated correct usage to the nurse in order to self-administer.
Immunizations are important to keep all our students safe and healthy. Moreover they are required for continued attendance at school. Non-compliant students are excluded at Garfield. Immunizations are available from your provider/clinic, many pharmacies or the Teen Health Center (a wonderful on site resource). You can report them via the Washington State Certificate of Immunization Status. Contact me for questions or to update your student's immunization status.
All students must have completed their DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus generally within the last 5 years), Polio, MMR (measles-mumps-rubella), Varicella (chickenpox) and Hepatitis B series. Please note that MMR and Varicella vaccines must be given on the same day or at least 28 days apart to be effective. While not required for school attendance students are also encouraged to have the meningococcal and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines.
Meningitis – How to protect your teen
Meningococcal disease is a rare but potentially fatal bacterial infection that can cause meningitis – a severe swelling of the brain and spinal cord or meningococcemia, a severe blood infection. It is spread through the exchange of fluids found in the respiratory system and throat usually through close, personal contact. It is thought that close contact in crowded conditions puts teens at greater risk.
It often begins with symptoms that look like other common viral illnesses such as the flu. But it can get worse very rapidly resulting in death or permanent disability. The most common signs and symptoms are headache, fever, stiff neck, extreme tiredness, vomiting, sensitivity to light and a rash of small purplish black-red dots. Contact your provider or seek medical attention immediately if you suspect meningococcal disease.
The good news is that there is a vaccine available that prevents up to 83% of cases as it offers protection against 4 of the 5 most common strains of bacteria that cause the disease. See your provider or the Teen Health Center for immunization. While not required for school attendance it is strongly encouraged. In addition, there are new vaccine requirements that children who received a dose between 11 and 15 years of age need a second dose between the ages of 16 and 18.
More info is available at:
Voices of Meningitis www.meningococcaldisease.com
National Meningitis Association www.nmaus.org
HPV - How to protect your teen
Please consider talking with your student about getting vaccinated against human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cancer. The earlier students get them, the stronger their immune response and protection! Students aged 14 or younger only need two shots, whereas students who start later need shots total. More information about HPV and vaccinating to prevent it can also be found on the CDC’s website. Try starting here: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/hpv/vac-faqs.htm
Vision, Hearing and Scoliosis Screens
These screens are not routinely done in high school but will be done when a concern is expressed or upon request.
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)
SPS uses the SDQ questionnaire to identify students who can benefit from support, referrals, and extra planning. When students are struggling academically it is especially important to find out if there are barriers to learning that need to be addressed. We are delighted to have a tool that is well established, accessible to parents and older students, translated into many languages, simple to use and helpful to guide decisions about the best student support.
There are many circumstances where this tool may be useful for your child: academic concerns, failing the HSPE, needing a Student Learning Plan, being reviewed by the Student Intervention Team (SIT). If any of these problems appear, SPS staff may want to give this screen to your student. You can have the site create a report for your information or review the tool at: http://www.sdqinfo.com. If you do not want the SDQ given to your child please call/email me with your student's name and I will send you an exemption form to complete and return.
I want all our students to be healthy and safe. Please come see or call me if you have questions, concerns or just want to say hi!