Nurse Notes


🏕 YMCA Camp Lakewood is having 2018 Asthma Camp.  Camp Catch-Ya_Breath in Potosi, Mo.  Friday June 15-17.  If anyone is interested it is a free camp for children with asthma and I have the information an the applications.  They can also go on line at

If you have any questions please feel free to call 573-637-2201. 🏊

What to do in a Poisoning Emergency

​Children can get very sick if they come in contact with medicines, household products, pesticides, chemicals, or cosmetics. This can happen at any age and can cause serious reactions. However, most children who come in contact with these things are not permanently hurt if they are treated right away.

Poison Help

  • 1-800-222-1222 is a nationwide toll-free number that directs your call to your local poison center.
  • Call 1-800-222-1222 if you have a poison emergency. This number will connect you right away to your nearest poison center. A poison expert in your area is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Also call if you have a question about a poison or poison prevention. You can find prevention information at
  • Be prepared. Post the Poison Help number by every phone in your home and program the number in your cell phone. Be sure that caregivers and babysitters know this number.


Swallowed poison

If you find your child with an open or empty container of a dangerous nonfood item, your child may have been poisoned. Stay calm and act quickly.

  • First, get the item away from your child. If there is still some in your child's mouth, make him spit it out or remove it with your fingers. Keep this material along with anything else that might help determine what your child swallowed.
  • Do not make your child vomit because it may cause more damage.
  • If your child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions or seizures, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.
  • If your child does not have these symptoms, call the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222. You may be asked for the following information:
    • Your name and phone number
    • Your child's name, age, and weight
    • Any medical conditions your child has
    • Any medicine your child is taking
    • The name of the item your child swallowed (Read it off the container and spell it.)
    • The time your child swallowed the item (or when you found your child), and the amount you think was swallowed
  • If the poison is very dangerous, or if your child is very young, you may be told to take him to the nearest hospital. If your child is not in danger, the Poison Help staff will tell you what to do to help your child at home.

Poison on the skin

If your child spills a dangerous chemical on her body, remove her clothes and rinse the skin with room-temperature water for at least 15 minutes, even if your child resists. Then call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222. Do not use ointments or grease.

Poison in the eye

Flush your child's eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of room-temperature water into the inner corner. It is easier if another adult holds your child while you rinse the eye. If another adult is not around, wrap your child tightly in a towel and clamp him under one arm. Then you will have one hand free to hold the eyelid open and the other to pour in the water. Continue flushing the eye for 15 minutes. Then call the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222. Do not use an eyecup, eyedrops, or ointment unless Poison Help staff tells you to.

Poisonous fumes

In the home, poisonous fumes can come from:

  • A car running in a closed garage
  • Leaky gas vents
  • Wood, coal, or kerosene stoves that are not working right
  • Space heaters, ovens, stoves, or water heaters that use gas
  • If your child is exposed to fumes or gases, have her breathe fresh air right away. If she is breathing, call the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, and ask about what to do next. If she has stopped breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and do not stop until she breathes on her own or someone else can take over. If you can, have someone call 911 right away. If you are alone, wait until your child is breathing, or after 1 minute of CPR, then call 911.


You can help make your home poison-safe by doing the following:

  • Keep all medicines and household products locked up and out of your child's reach.
  • Use safety latches on drawers and cabinets where you keep objects that may be dangerous to your child.
  • Be prepared for a poisoning emergency. Post the Poison Help number by every phone in your home and program the number in your cell phone. 1-800-222-1222 will connect you right away to your nearest poison center. (Be sure that your babysitter knows this number.)

Why Most Sore Throats, Coughs & Runny Noses Don’t Need Antibiotics

If your child has a sore throat, cough, or runny nose, you might expect the doctor to prescribe antibiotics. But most of the time, children don't need antibiotics to treat a respiratory illness. In fact, antibiotics can do more harm than good. Here's why:

Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses.

If your child has a bacterial infection, antibiotics may help. But if your child has a virus, antibiotics will not help your child feel better or keep others from getting sick.

  • The common cold and flu are both viruses.
  • Chest colds, such as bronchitis, are also usually caused by viruses. Bronchitis is a cough with a lot of thick, sticky phlegm or mucus. Cigarette smoke and particles in the air can also cause bronchitis. But bacteria are not usually the cause.
  • Most sinus infections (sinusitis) are also caused by viruses. The symptoms are a lot of mucus in the nose and post-nasal drip. Mucus that is colored does not necessarily mean your child has a bacterial infection.

Antibiotics do not help treat viruses and some infections.

Some cases of the flu are both viral and bacterial. For these cases, antibiotics may be needed. Sometimes bacteria can cause sinus infections, but even then the infection usually clears up on its own in a week or so. Many common ear infections also clear up on their own without antibiotics.

Some sore throats, like strep throat, are bacterial infections. Symptoms include fever, redness, and trouble swallowing. However, most children who have these symptoms do not have strep throat. Your child should have a strep test to confirm that it's strep, and then, if they're needed, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics.

Antibiotics have risks.

Side effects from antibiotics are a common reason that children go to the emergency room. These medicines can cause diarrhea or vomiting, and about 5 in 100 children have allergies to them. Some allergic reactions can be serious and life threatening. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics encourages bacteria to change, so that medicines don't work as well to get rid of them. This is called "antibiotic resistance." When bacteria are resistant to the medicines used to treat them, it's easier for infections to spread from person to person. Antibiotic-resistant infections are also more expensive to treat and harder to cure.

When used incorrectly, antibiotics waste money.

Most antibiotics do not cost a lot. But money spent on medicines that are not needed is money wasted. In severe cases, infections that are resistant to antibiotics can cost thousands of dollars to treat.

When does your child need antibiotics?

Your child may need antibiotics if:

  • A cough does not get better in 14 days.
  • A bacterial form of pneumonia or whooping cough (pertussis) is diagnosed.
  • Symptoms of a sinus infection do not get better in 10 days, or they get better and then worse again.
  • Your child has a yellow-green nasal discharge and a fever of at least 102° F for several days in a row.
  • Your child has strep throat, based on a rapid strep test or a throat culture. If strep is not diagnosed with a test, antibiotics should not be given. No test is needed if your child has a runny nose and cough as well as a sore throat. Those are symptoms of a different virus.
  • For infants younger than 3 months of age, call your pediatrician for any fever above 100.4° F. Very young infants can have serious infections that might need antibiotics.

How Do You Get Rid Of Mucus?

Snot Color #1: Clear, Runny Mucus

Snot Color #1: Clear, Runny Mucus

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Clear mucus is nothing to worry about. This is the run-of-the-mill mucus your body always needs you to produce, so don’t be concerned if you notice a bit of this clear goo on your tissue.

At times, your body might suddenly start producing lot of clear mucus, and that can be an important sign.

For example, people with respiratory allergies like hay fever may discover that their noses suddenly start running like a tap, producing huge quantities of clear, liquid snot.

That’s a good indicator that you are too close to an allergen and are about to start suffering more extensive symptoms.

It may also indicate other early respiratory issues, like the start of an ordinary cold.

Snot Color #2: Thick, White Mucus

Snot Color #2: Thick, White Mucus

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If your snot is coming out white and sticky, that means that there’s less water in the mucus than there normally should be.

Having white, thick mucus can often indicate that you’re dehydrated and that you need to get more water into your system.

If you’re getting plenty of water, it could signal that something else in your body is causing dehydration, like a low-grade fever that makes you sweat.

White mucus can also mean that a cold or sinus infection is starting to develop. When white blood cells start to build up in mucus to fight an infection, they can turn the sputum milky white.

Snot Color #3: Yellow Mucus

Snot Color #3: Yellow Mucus

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Got yellowish or creamy colored mucus? That’s a sure sign that something is brewing in your upper respiratory system.

If you have an infection, a cold, or even a really bad allergy, your body will respond by producing lots of white cells to fight off the attacker.

White blood cells have a greenish tint, and in a low concentration, they can give clear or white mucus a yellowish hue.

Snot Color #4: Green Mucus

Snot Color #4: Green Mucus

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Green mucus is a great indicator that you have a bug that is settling in for the long haul.

If you start blowing out green mucus, this could signal that an intense sinus infection might be getting its hooks into you.

Finding green mucus in your tissue is a sign that you should visit the doctor.

You should also be especially careful to watch out for green mucus that comes up from the throat and lungs.

Coughing up wads of green goo can mean that you have something like bronchitis and pneumonia brewing. Both conditions are serious and require a visit to the doctor.

Snot Color #5: Red Or Pink Mucus

Snot Color #5: Red Or Pink Mucus

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Red or pink mucus almost always means that you have blood in your respiratory system — but don’t panic!

It’s really easy to end up with pinkish mucus or bright-red blood in your tissue, especially if you’ve been blowing your nose a lot or have been trying to clear it of goop. The membranes get irritated and dry, and small blood vessels can break and cause the alarming color.

However, be very carefully if you experience excessive bleeding.

Contact your doctor right away should you start coughing or sneezing out large amounts of blood. If the bleeding will not stop, go to the emergency room immediately.

Snot Color #6: Brown Mucus

Snot Color #6: Brown Mucus

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Though mucus is not a pleasant sight, it’s generally nothing to worry about.

Usually, if you find that your mucus has a brownish color, it’s because there is old, dried blood somewhere in your nose or your sinuses.

If you previously experienced a nose bleed or a similar nasal injury, it’s not uncommon to have old brownish blood surface after the fact.

Mucus that has been backed up for a long time, as in a sinus infection, can also appear brownish.

One other possible culprit? Tobacco. If you chew tobacco or smoke cigarettes (especially hand-rolled), you may notice the tobacco staining your mucus a yellowish brown. Same goes for just about any other restricted substance that you can chew or smoke.

Snot Color #7: Gray Or Black Mucus

Snot Color #7: Gray Or Black Mucus

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Nobody wants to find black mucus on their hankie. Still, it’s usually not a big deal.

Black mucus is often the result of inhaling a foreign substance, like smoke, soot, or ash. This may happen if you’ve been smoking or have been around smokers (or if you’ve been in any other environment where you may have inhaled fine, dark particles).

Finding ashy snot just once or twice is nothing to worry about, but you should try to cut back on situations where you might inhale these particles. You could even consider wearing a breathing mask. Habitually inhaling foreign substances is not good for your body.

In some rare cases, black or gray mucus may also signal that there’s a fungus causing your sinus issues. Go see a doctor, just to be safe.



No more excuses!

You start to see the signs in August and September – “Flu Shots Here”. They are at every pharmacy and medical facility, and your employer may even host a flu shot clinic at work. Some people are on board right away; others have a bevy of excuses why they won’t get a flu shot. “I got a shot last year and got sick from it the next day.” Or “I never get a flu shot and I never get sick.” Or “I’m allergic to eggs so I can’t get the shot.”

Let’s address each of these statements individually because it is important for as many people as possible to become vaccinated:

Can you get the flu from a flu shot?

The short answer is no. First, it takes two weeks for the flu virus to incubate and cause symptoms. If you have the flu shortly after you get a shot, you most likely contracted it somewhere else within the past two weeks and you were going to get sick anyway. Second, flu vaccines are made one of two ways:

  1. Using an “inactivated” viruses which make it non-infectious
  1. Using absolutely no flu viruses at all

Both of these methods result in a vaccine which cannot cause the flu.

If you get the flu more than two weeks after the shot, you most likely contracted a strain of the virus not covered by the shot you received. The CDC formulates the vaccine based on the most likely strains to hit the US in any given year. It is an educated guess, but sometimes another strain finds its way into the US.

If I have never had the flu before, why would I need a flu shot now?

Just because you have never had the flu (or think you have never had the flu), it is possible this year could be the year. Strains of the flu virus are mutating continually and what has not made you sick in the past, may make you sick now. Additionally, you move through the world and interact with other human beings who may not be as resistant to viruses as you think you are. When you contract the flu, you are contagious from around one day before you have symptoms until five to seven days after. Any hard surfaces you get your germs on during this time can remain contagious for up to 48 hours. To be blunt, even when you don’t feel sick, you may be sick and can make others around you sick.

Can I get a flu shot if I am allergic to eggs?

One of the standard questions on the wellness sheet most places have you sign before the shot asks if you are allergic to eggs. The reason is they are covering themselves because most flu vaccines are produced using an egg-based manufacturing process and contain a small amount of egg protein called ovalbumin; however, unless you have severe allergic reactions to eggs (other than simple hives) like respiratory or other reactions requiring medical intervention, you can receive any flu vaccine. Even if you have had a severe reaction to eggs you can still get a flu vaccine, but it is recommended you receive the vaccine in a medical facility equipped to handle a severe allergic reaction and be sure to notify the person administering the vaccine of your allergy. The only people who should not receive a flu vaccine are those who have had a severe reaction to flu vaccines in the past.

OK, maybe I didn’t get the flu from the flu shot, but I still don’t want to get one. Why should I?

As mentioned earlier, we all interact with one another and the number of people we “touch” is exponential. Door knobs, counters, office furniture, grocery carts, and other public shared surfaces, in addition to person-to-person contact, can spread the flu virus. Have you ever been on an airplane with someone who is coughing, sneezing, etc and inwardly groaned because you just knew whatever they had was making its way around the enclosed cabin?

When you get a flu shot, you are not just protecting yourself, you are helping protect everyone around you. Some people are legitimately not able to get the flu shot due to a compromised immune system or advanced age. The very young (babies under 6 months of age are not old enough for the vaccine and are extremely at risk) and the very old are of particular concern.

People who are cardiac compromised run a larger risk of suffering a cardiac event as the result of contracting the flu and should always get a flu shot. In fact, incidences of cardiac visits to hospitals increase during the peak of flu outbreaks.

If a family member contracted Guillain-Barre Syndrome after a flu shot, should I not get one?

Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is exceptionally rare and occurs in only 1 or 2 people per million vaccinated. In fact, a person prone to getting GBS is more at risk for getting it after having the flu than after receiving the vaccine. There is no evidence to suggest it is hereditary (which is why it is called a “syndrome” and not a “disease”). GBS is a very serious condition and can have a long recovery time. It is understandable someone who has watched a loved one go through all the stages of GBS, many of which are quite painful, would want to avoid enduring the same circumstances. If a family member has had GBS and you are concerned about getting a flu shot, it is recommended you speak with your doctor about it and decide with them what the best course of action is for you.

I’m still not convinced, what can I do to avoid getting the flu besides a shot?

If you still decide not to receive a flu shot, please take precautions during flu season. Eat healthily and stay hydrated, wash your hands often (especially when you are out in public, and definitely before eating or touching your mouth or nose), disinfect surfaces often in your home and office. If you start feeling ill, minimize your contact with others. If you can stay home from work, you should stay home from work – your co-workers will thank you. Staying home and resting is your best bet for a quick recovery anyway.

Stay healthy!


Your child should not be at school if he/she has any of these symptoms:
- Has a 100 degree or over temperature or needs fever reducing medication
- Must have a normal temperature for 24 hours or more without medication
- Examples: Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, etc.
- Has been taking antibiotics for less than 24 hours
- Vomiting/diarrhea- Stay at home for 24 hours after vomiting or diarrhea
- Must be able to eat and drink before coming back
- Rash—if rash is over large part of body or is oozing or contagious
- Red eye—if white part of eye is red and there is yellow or green crusty or gooey stuff in eye or has conjunctivitis. They must stay at home for 24 hours or more after medication has started.