Community Health Nurse
My name is Kristen Cousins and I am the Community Health Nurse who visits your school.
Community Health Nurses work in schools to promote healthy development and wellbeing so students may reach their full potential. A major part of my work is focused on early intervention and the School Entry Health Assessment program.
Community Health Nurses serve as a health contact point for children and their families, providing information, assessment, health counselling and referral. The services provided are free and confidential.
If you have a concern about your child’s health or development, please contact me via your school office or at my Community Health Base on 9314 0100.
A brochure on colour blindness has been distributed to all Pre Primary students. If you have any concerns, colour vision testing can be performed by some General Practitioners, Eye specialists or Optometrists.
Colour blindness means that a person cannot distinguish some colours or see the colours differently to other people. Very few people who are colour blind are ‘blind’ to all colours. Commonly, the colours seen differently are greens, yellows, oranges and reds.
The Information brochure on colour blindness for all students can be found on your school website from this year.
For more information please see the Colour Blind Awareness and Support Group on http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/~doverton/
A common, acute, viral infection. Symptoms include fever, vesicles (blisters) in the mouth and on hands and feet. Thisinfection is not related to the Foot and Mouth Disease found in animals.
Transmission: Airborne or droplet: faecal-oral
Incubation period: 3 to 7 days
Infectious period: As long as there is fluid in the vesicles (blisters). Faeces remains infections for several weeks.
Exclusion: Exclude until vesicles (blisters) have formed crusts that are dry
Treatment: Varies according to symptoms
Contacts: Do not exclude
Immunisation: None available
A common, parasitic infrestion of the scalp hair. Symptoms include scratching and the presence of ‘nits’ (eggs) and lice in the scalp hair.
Transmission: Head-to-head contact with an infested person
Incubation period: 7 to 10 days
Infectious period: Until lice and eggs (nits) are killed
Exclusion: Exclude until after treatment has commenced and live lice removed
Contacts: Do not exclude
Children with head lice infestation are required to have their hair cleared of lice before returning to school. This can be achieved by parents using an insecticide product purchased from the local pharmacy and used according to the manufacturer’s instruction. However, this must be followed by parents physically removing the lice from the hair after the recommended time period using a special ‘nit’ comb. Hair will need to be checked by parents on a daily basis for the following 10 days to ensure that all lice and eggs have been removed from the hair.
Refer to the Department of Health, head lice fact sheet at www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/F_I/Head-lice
Alternatively, for those parents who do not wish to use an insecticide the 10-day hair conditioner method of removal can be used.
Head lice can be more easily removed by applying plenty of hair conditioner to dry hair before combing to remove live lice and eggs (nits). Any type of hair conditioner may be used, including generic ‘home’ brands, together with a metal ne- tooth ‘nit’ comb. Suitable ‘nit’ combs can be purchased from most pharmacies.
What to do:
* Apply plenty of conditioner to the hair until saturated.
* Comb through with an ordinary comb or brush to remove tangles.
* Section and comb the hair thoroughly with a metal fine-tooth ‘nit’ comb in four directions – forwards, backwards, left, and right.
* Wipe the comb on a white paper towel to check that the dark adult lice or the paler hatchlings are being removed. Hatchlings are young lice which emerge from eggs. You may need to use a magnifying glass and a strong light to see the lice and eggs.
* Using white hair conditioner may make it easier to see the head lice.
* When combing is completed rinse the hair conditioner out and dry the hair.
* Repeat this process daily for 10 days to cover the hatching period of the eggs. This removes the hatchlings which emerge from missed eggs.
* Check your findings for adult head lice each day after commencing the 10-day combing period. If any are found this will be a new infestation.
* You will need to start again from day 1, as new eggs may have been laid.
* Check for lice reinfestation once a week for at least 4 weeks after completion of the 10-day treatment. Hair conditioner makes the inspection easier.
* Check all other household members for head lice infestation using the method described above, and treat as necessary.
A brochure on Scoliosis has been distributed to all Year 6 students. Please read through the information provided and check your child for scoliosis as described in the leaflet. If you have any concerns, please contact your General Practitioner.
Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. It can be detected by a simple examination of the back.
The normal spine has three curves – one in the neck, on in the upper back and one in the lower back. These curves can be seen from the side, but when you look from behind the spine should appear straight. If the spine has a sideways curve, this is scoliosis.