Nurse: Jenifer Pearson RN
Jenifer covers the Health Office at two schools:
Ishikawa Elementary: all day Tuesday, Friday & every other Wednesday
Edison Elementary: all day Monday, Thursday & every other Wednesday
Our Health Assistants are in the Office every day
Ishikawa Health Assistant: Diane Benitez (480-472-7679)
The following health information is according to District Policy. Please visit this web site for more information from our District Health Services.
Immunizations: Arizona state law requires that students' immunizations are current. The Health Office will send notices to parents/guardians if their student's immunizations are not up-to-date. Immunization requirements for 2018/19 can be found on the District's web page. In order to exempt students from immunizations, this form must be completed and given to the Health Office.
Immunizations are available at your physician's office or at the following free clinics:
* Mesa Immunization Clinic (FREE)
635 E Broadway Rd, Mesa AZ 85204 (Broadway and Olive)
Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Closed from 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm for lunch
(Closed selected Wednesdays; call 602-506-2660 for dates)
*If you have health insurance, please bring your card with you
* Mesa Fire Department (FREE)
Superstition Springs Mall, 6555 E Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85206
2nd Wednesday of each month (5:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
*This clinic is for AHCCCS, KidsCare, Un-insured, Under-insured,
American Indian or Alaska Native, only.
Medications: Medications must be kept in the Health Office, in their original container labeled for that student. A consent form to keep medications in the Health Office and dispensed as ordered must be completed by the parent/guardian (Part A). Any medication (prescription, over-the-counter, or homeopathic) which is to be given longer than 5 consecutive days must also have a physician sign off on the consent form (Part B). Provisions can be made for students to carry their own emergency medications, but a consent form (for an inhaler or emergency medication) must also be completed and kept on file with the Health Office.
Screenings: The Health Office does vision screenings (for all Pre K, Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade students, new students to Mesa Public Schools and special ed students), and hearing screenings (for all Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 6th grade students, new students to Mesa Public Schools and special ed students). If your child does not fit into one of these categories but you would like him or her screened for vision or hearing, please call the Health Office and request a screening. We would be happy to screen any student upon request.
Chronic Health Conditions: If your child has a serious chronic health condition, such as anaphylaxis (severe allergy to a substance where an Epi-Pen is needed at school for a life-threatening allergic reaction), asthma, diabetes, seizures, or other, please call the Health Office and let us know. We will help you put an emergency health care plan in place for when they are in school. As part of the process we will make sure that all of his/her teachers are aware of the condition.
Dear Parents: The following web sites provide up-to-date information regarding this disease, its spread and protective measures that can be taken:
Maricopa County Department of Health (MCDH has provided 3 helpful
Arizona Department of Health Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mesa Public Schools
Please feel free to call the school nurse or health assistant if you have any questions.
FLU FACTS: Preventing the Flu - Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs
AVOID CLOSE CONTACT - Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
STAY HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK - Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. Keep sick children at home. You will help prevent others from catching the illness.
COVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE - Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN - Washing your hands and having your children wash their hands often help protect from germs.
AVOID TOUCHING YOUR EYES, NOSE OR THROAT (the "T" section of your face) - Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
PRACTICE OTHER GOOD HEALTH HABITS - Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
People who are ill should stay at home and limit their contact with others, except to seek medical care. People who develop an illness with fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, should contact their health care provider who will determine whether influenza testing is needed.
INFORMATION ABOUT HEAD LICE
Children who come home with an active case of head lice can cause great anxiety to their parents. Head lice can be the cause of much embarrassment and misunderstanding and many unnecessary days lost from school and work. They are not, however, a health hazard nor a sign of uncleanliness and are not responsible for the spread of any disease.
In Mesa Public Schools, we do not screen classrooms for head lice. And, for confidentiality reasons, we do not send letters home with students from a classroom where head lice has been found. Both of these suggestions—not screening classrooms and not sending letters home--are highly recommended by the Harvard School of Public Health. We address head lice problems on a case-by-case basis. We will do student head checks at a parent’s or teacher’s request. When an active case of head lice is found, that student (and their siblings, if they, too, are positive) will go home until the head lice are removed. Before returning to the classroom, he/she must be re-checked in the Health Office.
The following paragraphs offer detailed information about head lice--how it is detected, treated and prevented. Please feel free to contact the Health Office if more information is needed.
Detection, treatment and prevention of head lice are important in the school setting. Head lice are passed from one infested person to another through direct head-to-head contact or through the use of personal items (such as combs, brushes, hair ties, clothes, etc). Head lice do not jump or fly--they crawl. In our school district, we address the issue of head lice according to the following guidelines.
Detection of Head Lice
What are head lice? Head lice are tiny, wingless, grayish-tan insects that live and breed in human hair. They are human-specific; they do NOT live on animals. The eggs, called nits, are easier to see than the lice themselves and are usually found glued to hair shafts, close to the scalp, behind the ears and on the back of the head. Nits cannot be washed away like dirt or dandruff; they must be removed with a special comb designed for that purpose. Head lice can only survive for about half a day without a human host and cannot live on family pets.
How are they detected? The first clue that a child has head lice is frequent, usually intense, scratching of the scalp. To check for infestation, carefully examine the hair around the back of the neck and behind the ears. Since head lice shy away from light, you may only see their eggs (nits)—small, whitish ovals of uniform size attached to the shaft. It takes several days for nits to manifest in the hair depending on the maturity of the louse that gets into the hair. When head lice are discovered at school, parents of the infested child will be called and that child will go home. Siblings of infested children will also be checked and removed from the classroom where necessary.
Treatment of Head Lice
The most commonly prescribed treatment for head lice are pediculicidal shampoos and crème rinses. These products contain insecticides and must be used with caution (follow the directions exactly). See your pharmacist or doctor for more information. However, even if you have used a pediculicidal product and have followed the directions exactly, it is possible that you may still find live lice. Recent studies show that the occurrence of pediculicide-resistant lice is on the rise. Daily combing with a good lice comb (such as the Licemeister, see http://www.headlice.org/licemeister/index.htm) is important. Since most bugs become resistant to insecticides over time, relying on pediculocides alone may fail to eliminate head lice. Recent experiments by entomologists at the Harvard School of Public Health suggest that olive oil smothers and kills active head lice. People also find that the olive oil makes nit removal easier and re-moisturizes the scalp after the pediculocide. Combined with diligent nit combing and removal and checking throughout a three-week period (the life cycle of the louse), olive oil offers a safe, supplemental tool in the elimination of head lice. And, unlike pediculocides, olive oil can be used repeatedly without compromising your child’s health.
The following five-step plan outlined will help schools and families eliminate head lice with a minimum of trauma and without overexposing anyone to toxins. Be persistent.
Step 1: Use a pediculicide. Use an over-the-counter pediculocidal shampoo or crème rinse to kill most of the lice. Read the labels carefully and discuss the product with your doctor or pharmacist. The National Pediculosis Association (http://www.headlice.org/) discourages the use of Lindane (Kwell), a prescription product which can cause serious side effects.
Step 2: The olive oil treatment. Olive oil smothers and kills active head lice. Apply over the entire scalp, separating hair and rubbing onto scalp as you go. Apply on days 1, 5, 9, 13, 17 and 21. The treatments have been carefully timed to coincide with the life cycle of the louse. It takes 8-10 days for lice to hatch and another 8-10 days for babies to mature to lay eggs. If you choose not to use a lice shampoo, use the olive oil treatment on Day 1 and Day 2 in addition to all other designated days. You may do the treatments more often, if you like, but do not miss any of these days or, chances are, you will have to start over. The olive oil should be left on for at least 8 hours; a shower cap secured by tying a bandanna over it will keep the bedding from being soaked with oil.
Step 3: Clean the environment. Housecleaning steps of vacuuming carpet and upholstered furniture and sweeping floors will help avoid re-infestation. Launder clothes, bedding and towels and use the heat of a clothes dryer to dry them. Soak combs and brushes at least 20 minutes in hot water. Anything that cannot be washed, such as stuffed toys, should be put in a plastic bag and tied securely for 2 weeks.
Step 4: Comb out the nits. Leave the olive oil in the hair for the comb out. Using a good metal nit comb, comb the hair section by section. It may be necessary to pull nits out with a fingernail, one-by-one. Then, carefully go over the entire scalp. Wash out the oil with a good clarifying shampoo for oily hair; this will probably require lathering twice. NOTE: Olive oil kills by covering the holes through which the lice breathe. If lice aren’t completely covered by oil, they may not die. But the oil will slow them down, allowing them to be caught in the nit comb. If the pediculocide fails to kill a bug, it means that the bug is resistant and will never be killed by that chemical. This is not true of olive oil. Each time you use the olive oil, it has a good chance of killing each bug. The goal is to kill not only active lice, but also each newborn louse before it is old enough to lay eggs.
Step 5: Check for nits. Check dry hair in bright light for any nits you have missed. Nits are about the size of a sesame seed – grayish-white to light brown, generally within 1/2 “ of the scalp.
Returning to school? When you have completed one pediculocide treatment or one olive oil treatment, a thorough nit combing and nit check and have cleaned your environment, it should be safe to send your child back to school. They need to be checked by the Health Office before going back to class. As long as you continue to treat (and check for and remove any previously missed nits) over the next three weeks on the days designated above, your child should not infest anyone else.
Prevention of Head Lice
How do they spread? Head lice are contagious. They are spread through direct head-to-head contact or through the sharing of personal items such as combs, brushes, scarves, hats, headbands and ties, clothing, towels, pillows, sleeping bags, stuffed animals, and even headrests (think movie theaters or car seats!). To minimize the risk of repeated outbreaks, remind your children not to share these items with others and not to put “heads together” while playing. One of the most important things that parents can do is to routinely check their children’s hair for head lice. Keep a good lice comb at home and check hair on a regular basis.
Also, here are some great websites that will give you MORE information.
National Association of School Nurses, policy statement on lice (http://www.nasn.org/Default.aspx?tabid=237)
Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/lice/factsht_head_lice.htm#how_spread)
Harvard School of Public Health, Head Lice information (www.hsph.harvard.edu/headlice.html)
Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/) (type in “head lice” in search box)
NOTE: The BEST lice comb you can have (it strips EVERYTHING out of the hair—live lice and their nits) is a LICEMEISTER. Just “google” licemeister and you will find many places that sell them. The small, plastic combs that usually come in packages of lice shampoo break easily and are not very effective.