WELCOME TO THE SLRHS HEALTH OFFICE


SPRING MEMO - 2020

Hello Lakers!

We returned from February break looking ahead to spring and all that it would bring; warmer weather, the junior and senior proms, spring break and last but not least graduation! l Little did we know what spring had in store for us and that March would give us our last days in the building for this school year. Instead of anticipating prom season and graduation, we find ourselves in unchartered territory; staying at home, practicing social distancing and wearing masks of all things! With that being said here are the basics of social distancing as suggested by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency;

  • Social Distancing Basics
  • Stay Home
  • Call/Face time/On-line chat/ZOOM with friends and loved ones
  • If you go out for essential needs:
    • Avoid crowds
    • Stay 6 feet away from others
    • Don’t shake hands or hug
    • Wear a face covering or mask if your physical distancing is not possible

Also, stay informed, take care of your emotional health and wash those hands frequently! The state COVID web site is: https://www.mass.gov/covid19

SUMMER SAFETY

Just a few reminders to hold onto as we roll into summer:

  • Be sun smart and wear sunscreen!
  • Be head smart and wear a helmet when bicycling!
  • Be alert when out and about; look for and avoid poison ivy!
  • Be COVID smart and keep washing those hands!

REMINDER - PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS

When submitting a student physical examination, whether it be for athletics or compliance with MA state law, please be aware that it needs to legible in order for it to be read and entered into our data base. We are finding those submitted via smartphones/email cannot be enlarged and printed for what is needed to process the information you are submitting. Whenever possible, have your student bring a hard copy of his or her physical exam to school where they can drop it off to the Health Office.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy summer!

Penny Svenson, RN, NCSN



VAPING UPDATE

On October 4, 2019 the FDA posted to their website the following recommendations with regards to THC containing products and any vaping products obtained off the street. This warning stems from the reporting of more than 1,000 lung injuries, some resulting in deaths, following the use of vaping products. The recommendations are as follows:

  • Do not use vaping products that contain THC.
  • Do not use vaping products-particularly those containing THC - obtained off the street or from other illicit or social sources.
  • Do not modify or add any substances, such as THC or other oils, to vaping products, including those purchased through retail establishments.
  • No vaping product has been approved by the FDA for therapeutic uses or authorized for marketing by the FDA. The Agency recommends contacting your health care provider for more information about the use of THC to treat medical conditions.
  • No youth or pregnant women should be using any vaping product, regardless of the substance. Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using these products. If you are an adult who uses e-cigarettes instead of cigarette smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes.
  • If you choose to use these products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health.If you are concerned about your health after using a vaping product, contact your health care provider, or you can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Health care providers can also contact their local poison control center.

Don’t assume your teen wouldn’t vape or that you wouldn’t know that your teen was doing it. Many good students, star athletes, and otherwise “great kids”experiment with e-cigarettes at one time or another.

What to look for:

  1. Sweet scents such as bubble gum or candy flavored scents wafting through the room. This is the after-effects of cloud vapor. E-juices come in many flavor combinations. The sweeter the better for most teens.
  2. Skin flare-ups such as acne or red spots may take longer to heal.
  3. Nosebleeds are experiences as vaping dries out the nasal passageways. Dry cracking skin around the nose is also another indicator.
  4. Increased thirst is due to vaping being hydroscopic, meaning it dries out the mouth and throat. Drinking more liquids and urinating more frequently is a warning sign your teen may be vaping.
  5. Caffeine intake may be cut back due to the combination of nicotine and caffeine increasing irritability, mood swings and anxiety.
  6. “Vapers Tongue” is the loss of flavor perception when vaping. Added salt may suddenly be part of your teen’s diet if vaping. Vaper’s Tongue is a common term used among vape users.
  7. Pneumonia may occur as the nanoparticles present in e-cig vapor cause inflammation in the lungs, which can lead to pockets of bacterial infection resulting in pneumonia
  8. Unfamiliar spare parts such as cartridges, spare wires, cotton balls or small containers (pods), unfamiliar USB drives or battery charges may be found in your trash bin. Ask your teen about them.
  9. Sleep patterns can be affected by the nicotine ingested by your teen. Staying up later or sleeping in, along with restlessness/sleeplessness are indicators of a nicotine habit.
  10. Your child may be more irritable or easily frustrated when they vape, especially if they go long periods in between uses.
  11. Risky behaviors or making otherwise unsound decisions may be exhibited as your teen vapes and impairs the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Using addictive substances is a behavioral risk in and of itself. Nicotine changes the brain’s chemistry which can lead to psychological or personality differences separate from typical teenage hormonal changes. Watch out for these signs.