Healthy Scholars Learn Better

My name is Kristen Barber and I am a registered nurse with a background in pediatric nursing. I am privileged to serve as the school nurse for John Adams Academy at the Lincoln, El Dorado Hills and Roseville Campuses. It was an honor to join the JAA team in the 2018-2019 school year. My role as school nurse is to keep our scholars safe and healthy while at school and encourage them to move forward making healthy choices for a lifetime. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me with your health related concerns or questions. You can reach me via email at: kristen.barber@johnadamsacademy.org or leave me a voicemail at 916-260-4821.
 
Humbly and Respectfully, 
Kristen Barber, RN, BSN, PHN
Credentialed School Nurse
 
Check out the links on the left hand side of this page for health related information from a variety of sources. I hope you find them informative and helpful as we work together to promote health and wellness for all of our scholars. 

COVID-19, Social Distancing and Shelter in Place:

In light of our current pandemic and shelter-in-place orders due to COVID-19 I want to offer you my best guidance and resources.

 

During this time of disruption in schedules, new patterns, social isolation and uncertainty, we are all under an unusual amount of stress. We all carry our stress in different ways and likewise we all relieve our stress in different ways. It is important to realize, not all stress is "bad" stress. Some kinds of stress can motivate us to hard work and drive us to achieve, however, when stress levels become too high, even positive stress, can have a negative effect on our bodies and our minds. Our bodies perceive most stresses like illness, hormone fluctuations, intense study for an exam, insecurity due to uncertainty, loneliness due to isolation or anticipation of an exciting future event in remarkably similar ways. Mitigating stressful influences as much as possible is key to maintaining good overall health during particularly stressful seasons of life. As we all know, we cannot, nor should we, eliminate every stressful event, person or situation in our lives. We must develop outlets and processes that help us manage the effects of the stresses that we can not eliminate. There are dozens of ways to do this. Some people interact with nature by going for a run or working in the garden. Some find peace in reading a good book or creating a piece of art. Journaling about or writing a story about your experience can help. Many find keeping a gratitude journal can help keep a positive focus during difficult times. 

 

If you are home with children right now and struggling to find the words to talk about what is going on in the world in an age appropriate way, I have linked some resources for you. Check them out, they are packed with information.

 

Here is a link put together by the National School Nurses Association and National Association of School Psychologists aimed at equipping parents to help their children cope with the changes secondary to COVID-19.

https://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/NASN/3870c72d-fff9-4ed7-833f-215de278d256/UploadedImages/PDFs/03252020_NASP_NASN_COVID-19_parent_handout.pdf

 

Here is a list of resources related to teaching children about COVID-19 put together by the National School Nurses Association.

https://4.files.edl.io/75a8/03/23/20/171829-14beb3ed-8f2c-454d-936f-70f66d3acd3d.pdf

 

Here you will find several online books and printable handouts related to COVID-19 put together by schoolmentalhealth.org.

http://www.schoolmentalhealth.org/media/SOM/Microsites/NCSMH/Documents/COVID-19/COVID-Books-Resources.-For-Children-final.pdf

 

As we practice our best social distancing, this article has a great simulation that can help drive home the "why" of social distancing with both children and adults. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/

 

The CDC has useful resources and are updating their information frequently as information about this virus grows. This resource is updated frequently, if you have seen it in weeks past, its worth checking again as information is updated. 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf

 

Your local public health department will have up to date information on how COVID-19 is affecting your home community:

 

Sacramento County: https://dhs.saccounty.net/PUB/Pages/PUB-Home.aspx

El Dorado County: https://www.edcgov.us/Government/PublicHealth

Placer County: https://www.placer.ca.gov/2863/Public-Health

 

Many of the recommendations from public health officials remains unchanged as this virus develops. The following guidelines are relevant to any viral outbreak.

 
1. Stay home when you are ill. Stay home until your fever has been gone for 24 hours without fever reducing medication. Your body needs rest to fight the virus well and you don’t want to share your germs with others. (current recommendations have increased in light of COVID-19 to 72 hours without ill symptoms or 7 days from onset of symptoms, whichever is LONGER)
2. Cover your cough. Use a tissue if possible and throw it away right after use. Then wash your hands.
3. WASH YOUR HANDS. Wash them well with soap and water working a lather for 20 seconds (sing the A-B-C song) and wash them often. A trial which was run in Caio, Egypt during the H1N1 outbreak showed an almost 50% reduction in illness among school children when they increased hand washing to TWICE a day! Indicators to wash can be a simple as when you arrive, or leave a location, after using the restroom and before you eat.
(a note about washing after using the restroom: In addition the obvious reasons to wash, many viruses like influenza, enterovirus, and hand, foot and mouth disease can be shed in the stool long after symptoms have resolved)
4. Keep your hands out of your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible. Viruses like to use these as entry ways to make you sick. (see one of the below videos on hand washing to illustrate that fact)
5. Spend time out of doors and increase ventilation of enclosed spaces when possible by opening windows or possibly upgrading your filtration system if possible.
6. Stay well hydrated, move your body every day, eat plenty of fruits and veggies and prioritize sleep. 

 

Visit the CDC on more ideas about how to keep yourself and your family as healthy as possible:

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/preventing.htm#:~:text=If%20soap%20and%20water%20are,with%20germs%20like%20the%20flu.

 

EdSource has published this FAQ for parents and students in California schools.

https://edsource.org/2020/coronavirus-qa-what-california-parents-and-students-should-know-about-covid-19/624413

 

Helping children to understand the importance of hand washing and how germs work can improve compliance with many of the activities discussed above. Consider taking 5 or 10 minutes and watching one of the below videos and discussing with your kids.

 

Handwashing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7LUOFKEShU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD5i3l99mac

https://www.cdc.gov/cdctv/healthyliving/hygiene/fight-germs-wash-hands.html

 

Stay Healthy!