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Talking to Children About COVID-19

General principles for talking to children

Remain calm and reassuring.

  • Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.

Make yourself available to listen and to talk.

  • Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.

Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.

  • Remember that viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person’s race or ethnicity. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19.

Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online.

  • Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.

Provide information that is honest and accurate.

  • Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.
  • Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.

Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.

  • Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
  • Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.
  • Discuss any new actions that may be taken at school to help protect children and school staff.
    (e.g., increased handwashing, cancellation of events or activities)
  • Get children into a handwashing habit.
    • Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
    • If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and child care facilities.

Facts about COVID-19 for discussions with children

Try to keep information simple and remind them that health and school officials are working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy.

What is COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 is the short name for “coronavirus disease 2019.” It is a new virus. Doctors and scientists are still learning about it.
  • Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick. Scientists and doctors think that most people will be ok, especially kids, but some people might get pretty sick.
  • Doctors and health experts are working hard to help people stay healthy.

What can I do so that I don’t get COVID-19?

  • You can practice healthy habits at home, school, and play to help protect against the spread of COVID-19:
    • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it in the trash right away.
    • Keep your hands out of your mouth, nose, and eyes. This will help keep germs out of your body.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Follow these five steps—wet, lather (make bubbles), scrub (rub together), rinse and dry. You can sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
    • If you don’t have soap and water, have an adult help you use a special hand cleaner.
    • Keep things clean. Older children can help adults at home and school clean the things we touch the most, like desks, doorknobs, light switches, and remote controls. (Note for adults: you can find more information about cleaning and disinfecting on CDC’s website.)
    • If you feel sick, stay home. Just like you don’t want to get other people’s germs in your body, other people don’t want to get your germs either.

What happens if you get sick with COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 can look different in different people. For many people, being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu. People can get a fever, cough, or have a hard time taking deep breaths. Most people who have gotten COVID-19 have not gotten very sick. Only a small group of people who get it have had more serious problems. From what doctors have seen so far, most children don’t seem to get very sick. While a lot of adults get sick, most adults get better.
  • If you do get sick, it doesn’t mean you have COVID-19. People can get sick from all kinds of germs. What’s important to remember is that if you do get sick, the adults at home and school will help get you any help that you need.
  • If you suspect your child may have COVID-19, call the healthcare facility to let them know before you bring your child in to see them.

Thinking of you all~Nurse Donna 


compliments of the CDC website. 

Conjunctivitis (Aka: Pinkeye)

Conjunctivitis (Aka: Pinkeye)

Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pinkeye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids.

While pinkeye can sometimes be alarming because it may make the eyes extremely red and can spread rapidly, it is a common condition and usually causes no long-term eye or vision damage. However, if your child shows symptoms of pinkeye, it is important to see a doctor. Some kinds of pinkeye go away on their own, but other types require treatment.

Infections (such as bacteria and viruses), allergies, or substances that irritate the eyes can cause conjunctivitis.

Symptoms of Pinkeye

The different types of pinkeye can have different symptoms. In addition, symptoms can vary from child to child.

One of the most common symptoms is discomfort in the eye. A child may say that it feels like there is sand in the eye. Many kids have redness of the eye and inner eyelid, which is why conjunctivitis is often called pinkeye. It can also cause discharge from the eyes, which may cause the eyelids to stick together when the child awakens in the morning. Some kids have swollen eyelids or sensitivity to bright light.

In cases of allergic conjunctivitis, itchiness and tearing are common symptoms.


Cases of pinkeye that are caused by bacteria and viruses are contagious. (Conjunctivitis caused by allergies or environmental irritants are not.)

A child can get pinkeye by touching an infected person or something an infected person has touched, such as a used tissue. In the summertime, pinkeye can spread when kids swim in contaminated water or share contaminated towels. It also can be spread through coughing and sneezing. Doctors usually recommend keeping kids diagnosed with contagious conjunctivitis out of school, day care, or summer camp for a short time.


Strep Throat

What is Strep throat?
Strep throat and Scarlet fever (a rash that sometimes accompanies strep throat) are caused by the beta hemolytic streptococcus, type A bacteria. The organisms are spread by contact with secretions from the mouth and nose of infected persons. The incubation is short, usually 2 to 5 days. Infected persons are considered contagious until 24 hours after antibiotic treatment is begun.
What are the signs and symptoms or strep throat?
The signs and symptoms include sore throat, fever, swollen glands under the jaw and in the neck, and pus pockets on the tonsils. Vomiting and stomach pain may also occur. Additionally, with scarlet fever there is a fine, red, sandpapery skin rash.
What should I do if I think my child has strep throat?
If a sore throat is suspected, if would be recommended to go ahead and seek medical care.
A throat culture will be done to determine the diagnosis. If the culture is positive, a ten-day course of an antibiotic, is prescribed. The child should be out of school until 24 hours of antibiotic therapy is received and condition improved to return to school. If the culture is negative, the cause is probably viral and the treatment is warm salt water gargles, force fluids, rest, and Tylenol.
Can strep throat be prevented?
YES! Frequent handwashing, plenty of rest, and adequate diet will to go far to protect your child against strep throat and other germs which tend to be more prevalent this time of year. Be careful not to share cups or utensils that can also lead to the spread of germs.

New hotline helps teens quit vaping

Great Article



HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- E-cigarette use is surging among American teenagers, with millions of kids flirting with nicotine addiction by regularly vaping.

Unfortunately, these kids are going to face a rocky road if they try to kick their nicotine habit, experts say.

There are no tested or approved methods for quitting e-cigarettes, said Linda Richter, director of policy research and analysis at the Center on Addiction.

"The science of vaping cessation hasn't caught up with the tremendous rise in use," Richter said. "There really isn't much out there that's been proven."

Teens addicted to vaping must rely on methods that have been shown to help tobacco quitters, but it's not clear that those methods will be useful when it comes to e-cigarettes.

"It's shocking to a lot of people in the field that we were so close to, if not eliminating, then really reducing cigarette smoking and tobacco use among young people. They just aren't interested in cigarette smoking," Richter said. "This was really going to go away, and now we have this whole generation of kids addicted to nicotine again and we just don't know what we're going to do about it."

Nearly two of every five high school seniors have tried e-cigarettes during the past year, according to a federal survey. About 37 percent of 12th graders said they'd vaped within the past 12 months, compared to about 28 percent in 2017.

Many who vape may be addicted

Teenagers also are vaping regularly enough that hundreds of thousands are likely hooked on nicotine, said Dennis Henigan, vice president of legal and regulatory affairs at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

"We're beyond speculating that this could all be very experimental use by kids. The data is in, and it's showing that between 800,000 and 900,000 kids who use these e-cigarette products are using them regularly -- 20 days out of a 30-day month," Henigan said. "That's not experimental. That suggests mass addiction."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is concerned enough that it held a public hearing earlier this month asking for expert input on what strategies or treatments might best help teens quit vaping.

"A few years ago, it would've been incredible to me that we would be here today discussing the potential for drug therapy to help addicted young people quit," FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNN after the hearing.

E-cigarettes contain large amounts of nicotine, and it can be hard for kids to keep track of how much they've vaped, said Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative. There's concern that kids hooked on vaping will eventually start smoking.

"The evidence shows kids who would otherwise not have smoked who start vaping are four times as likely to go on and use combustible tobacco," Koval said.

Nicotine replacement therapy is a cornerstone for adults who want to quit smoking, but the gum and patches are not readily available to teenagers, she noted.

"For adults, lozenges and patches are available over the counter, but not for those who are under 18," Koval said.

Nicotine replacement therapy may not work for young vapers

A doctor can prescribe nicotine replacement therapy off-label for teens hooked on nicotine, Richter said, "but there isn't strong evidence they're particularly effective for kids. It's possible the level of nicotine in the nicotine replacement [products] are not high enough for people who are vaping."

Some adults also use antidepressants to help them quit smoking, but these medications are worrisome for teenagers, she added.

"There are concerns about giving antidepressants to kids," Richter said. "Some studies have shown it can increase suicidal thoughts in kids."

Smoking cessation programs might help, Richter suggested, but these also have not been tested when it comes to quitting vaping.

Koval said, on top of that, it's not clear whether kids addicted to e-cigarettes would see smoking cessation programs as a legitimate option.

"For young people, quitting vaping is not the same as quitting cigarettes," Koval said. "A lot of young people will say to us, well, I'm not a smoker. I would never smoke cigarettes. They don't want to be part of a quit program designed for smokers."

It's also easier for kids to maintain an e-cigarette addiction compared to a smoking addiction, Koval said.

"Cigarettes are hard for young people to use. You can't smoke in your classroom. You probably can't smoke in your room at home. They're harder to get," Koval said. "E-cigarettes are easy to conceal, so you can do them a lot more secretly."

New hotline helps teens quit vaping

To help teenagers quit vaping, Truth Initiative has come up with a first-of-its-kind program that offers support.

Kids who text "QUIT" to (202) 804-9884 will start receiving text messages offering assistance and guiding them to resources, Koval said.

"We'll enroll you and send you a series of messages every day that will help you set a quit date, help give you encouragement, tips and tools for how to quit," Koval said. "If you're feeling like you're craving, you can text us and we will immediately respond with some real-time help."

Koval and Richter said some other strategies that might help include:

  • Preparing to quit by leaving your e-cigarette at home during the day.
  • Identifying things in your life that prompt you to reach for your e-cigarette.
  • Figure out the types of cravings you have, and have strategies ready to counter your cravings.
  • Ask friends and family members to help you quit.

More information

The Truth Initiative has more about quitting e-cigarettes.

SOURCES: Linda Richter, Ph.D., director, policy research and analysis, Center on Addiction, New York City; Dennis Henigan, vice president, legal and regulatory affairs, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Washington, D.C.; Robin Koval, CEO and president, Truth Initiative, Washington, D.C.; CNN

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