Nurse Sara's Messages

Child Sick In Bed



If your child is going to be absent, please remember to call Sara Crowley, our school nurse, at 781-794-8420, and then press 1.

There is no need to wait for school hours to contact Nurse Sara. If you happen to know in the middle of the night that your child is ill, please call and leave Nurse Sara a message.

Your message should include:

  • Your child's name
  • Your child's teacher
  • Reason for absence
  • Predicted length of absence

Please recall that upon your child's healthy return to school, he or she must turn in a note to his/her teacher explaining the absence.

Here's to Your Health - A Message from Nurse Sara - March, 2019

Unfortunately, flu season continues to be in full swing.  If you suspect your child has the flu, please contact their physician.  Please keep your child home if they have a fever of 100.4 or greater, are vomiting, or have diarrhea.  They may return to school when fever free (without the use of fever reducing medication), or symptom free for 24 hours.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Spring is not quite here yet, so please remember to send your child in with a hat, jacket, and gloves/mittens for outside recess for our full day students.

Please remember to call in your child’s absence at 781-794-8420 and press 1.  Please update the office with any phone number or address changes.

The Health Office is also accepting donations of baby wipes/hand wipes.  Thank you!

Sara Crowley, RN

781-794-8420 and press 3


Health Services Newsletter

January, 2019 - Volume 9, Issue 1

The Benefits of Eating Breakfast

Eating a healthy breakfast is key to starting your day off right.

It allows you to think and perform better by giving your body fuel and nutrition.

Starting the day by eating a combination of carbohydrates and protein gives your body the energy to get started and your brain the fuel it needs to take on the day.

Protein gives you power and helps you to feel full until your next meal.

Some good choices for carbohydrate and protein combinations  are

whole grain cereals and breads for carbohydrates with milk and yogurt for protein.

Fresh fruit for carbohydrates and nuts for protein.

A great reason not to skip is that when you kick-start your day, you need your metabolism to be up and working. Eating a healthy breakfast helps us to pay attention, remember and perform better. Children and teens concentrate better at school and get higher test scores on tests.

Some helpful tips for morning success. Set your breakfast up the night before or pack your breakfast to travel. Try fruits, dried cereal, trail mix or pre boiled eggs to save time.

Set yourself up for success, eat a healthy breakfast!

Source: Web MD LLC-Neha Pathak MD Aug. 22, 2018

Submitted by Brenna Coughlin, RN, BHS

Healthy Eating + Healthy Habits = Healthy You

Banana Snowmen

After School Snack Tips

When your child comes through the door after school, he or she is probably hungry.  Try these tips for healthy snacks that will give your child the energy he or she needs to play and do homework.

Stock the kitchen:

Whatever is in the house is what your child will eat, so shop with that in mind.  Get interesting fruits and vegetables in different colors. 

Some examples are: Mango or peach salsa - let your child dip veggie sticks in it (carrot, celery, peppers). 

Popcorn to air pop (rather than getting less healthy microwave popcorn).

Have a Mini-Meal:

Breakfast or lunch foods can make a good snack.  You could serve oatmeal with raisins, and nuts, or tuck scrambled eggs into a pita pocket. 

Or try individual pizzas on whole-wheat English muffins.  Top each half with a little tomato sauce, shredded low fat mozzarella cheese, and cut vegetables, and bake or broil until the cheese melts.

Build your own:

Let your child get creative in the kitchen, and he or she will be likely to eat the results. 

Your child could make kebabs by threading fruit, and low fat cheese cubes on toothpicks. 

Put out cookie cutters for he or she to cut sandwiches into fun shapes. 

Your child could also spread peanut or almond butter, sun butter, or Nutella  on rice cakes, apples, or bananas and decorate them with raisins and nuts.

Offer your child choices, he or she will have a say in what he or she eats, but will be choosing from healthy foods.

Source: Nutrition Nuggets, Food and Fitness for a Healthy Child, copyright 2013 Resources for Educators

Submitted by: Cheryl Campbell, RN Morrison

Rethink the Drinks

Keeping Kids Safe From the  Harms of Alcohol

What is Rethink the Drinks? It is a campaign developed by the Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative – a group of local Communities  - Braintree, Milton, Quincy, and Weymouth — that aims to educate our communities about the legal and health risks of underage drinking. The information on the website is of value to all families!

The website is filled with information to help parents/guardians gain knowledge about health risks, legal consequences, talking tips, prevention tips and more.

If you are a resident of Braintree, Milton, Quincy, or Weymouth, there is a survey that you can complete to help provide the Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative with their prevention efforts.

You can also click on the individual town tab at the bottom of the page to learn more about town specific prevention programs, events, meetings, etc.

Learn more at:

Submitted by Karen Hubbard, RN, Highlands Elementary School

What Parents Need to Know About Backpack Safety

Backpacks are a popular way for students to carry school supplies and books to and from school.  When used correctly they are a good way to carry the many items needed for the school day.  They are made to distribute the weight of the load among some of the body’s strongest muscles.

However backpacks that are too heavy or worn incorrectly can cause problems for students, both children and teenagers.  Backpacks that are used improperly may injure muscles and joints.  This can lead to back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as posture problems.  The following guidelines can help your children use backpacks safely.

Choose the Right Backpack, Look for the Following:

  • Wide Padded Shoulder Straps-  Narrow straps can dig into the shoulders, causing pain and restricted circulation,
  • Two Shoulder Straps- Backpacks  with one shoulder strap that runs across the body cannot distribute weight evenly
  • Padded Back- A padded back protects against sharp edges on objects inside the pack and increases comfort.
  • Waist Strap- A waist strap can distribute the weight of a heavy load more evenly.
  • Lightweight backpack- the backpack itself should not add much weight to the load.
  • Rolling Backpack- This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load.  Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs.  They may be difficult to roll in snow.

To Prevent Injury When Using a Backpack, Do the Following:

  • Always use Both Shoulder Straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.  Wearing a backpack on one shoulder may increase curvature of the spine.
  • Tighten the Straps so that the pack is close to the body.  The straps should hold the pack two inches above the waist
  • Pack Light. The backpack should never weigh more than 10-20 percent of the student’s total body weight.
  • Organize the Backpack to use all of its Compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back.
  • Stop Often at School Lockers (if available), Do not carry all of the books needed for the day
  • Bend using both knees, when you bend down.  Do not bend over at the waist when wearing or lifting a heavy backpack.
  • Learn Back-Strengthening Exercises to build up the muscles used to carry a backpack.

Ask Your Pediatrician for Advice

Parents also can help in the Following Ways:

  • Encourage Your Child or Teenager to tell you about Pain or discomfort that may be caused by a heavy backpack.  Do not ignore any back pain in a child or teenager.  Ask your pediatrician for advice.
  • Talk to the School about lightening the load.  Be sure that the school allows students to stop at their lockers throughout the day.  Team up with other parents to encourage changes.

Source: Caring for Your School –Age Child Ages 5-12 (Copyright 2004 American Academy of Pediatrics)

Submitted by Cheryl Campbell, RN, Morrison

Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis, also called “mono,” is a contagious disease. It is common among teenagers and young adults, especially college students, but even elementary aged students can get mononucleosis. At least one out of four teenagers and young adults who get infected with the Epstein Barr Virus will develop infectious mononucleosis.


Typical symptoms of infectious mononucleosis usually appear four to six weeks after you get infected with EBV. Symptoms may develop slowly and may not all occur at the same time.

These symptoms include extreme fatigue, fever, sore throat, head and body aches, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits, swollen liver and/or spleen, and rash.

Enlarged spleen and a swollen liver are less common symptoms. For some people, their liver and/or spleen may remain enlarged even after their fatigue ends. Most people get better in two to four weeks; however, some people may feel fatigued for several more weeks. Occasionally, the symptoms of infectious mononucleosis can last for six months or longer.


EBV is the most common cause of infectious mononucleosis, but other viruses can cause this disease. Typically, these viruses spread most commonly through bodily fluids, especially saliva. However, these viruses can also spread through blood transfusions, and organ transplantations.

Prevention & Treatment

There is no vaccine to protect against infectious mononucleosis. You can help protect yourself by not kissing or sharing drinks, food, or personal items, like toothbrushes, with people who have infectious mononucleosis.

You can help relieve symptoms of infectious mononucleosis by drinking fluids to stay hydrated, getting plenty of rest and taking over-the-counter medications for pain and fever.

Because your spleen may become enlarged as a result of infectious mononucleosis, you should avoid contact sports until you fully recover. Participating in contact sports can be strenuous and may cause the spleen to rupture.

Diagnosing Infectious Mononucleosis

Healthcare providers typically diagnose infectious mononucleosis based on symptoms. Laboratory tests are not usually needed to diagnose infectious mononucleosis. However, specific laboratory tests may be needed to identify the cause of illness in people who do not have a typical case of infectious mononucleosis.

*Adapted from

Submitted by Joanne Kelly, RN, Liberty Elementary School

Flu Season

While seasonal flu viruses can be detected year round in the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter.  The timing and duration of flu season can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase in October.  Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May.

Flu Symptoms

  • Fever or feeling chills (not everyone with the flu will have a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, although this is more common in children than adults

Flu Treatment

If you get the flu, antiviral drugs may be a treatment option.  When used for treatment, antiviral medication can lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by one or two days.  They can also prevent serious flu complications like pneumonia.  Most people who are otherwise healthy and get the flu do not need to be treated with antiviral drugs.  Treatments for mild cases include staying at home and resting, avoiding close contact with others, and drinking plenty of water and clear liquids to prevent dehydration.  Most people who get the flu will recover in less than two weeks, usually in a few days.  (

Tips to Avoid the Flu

  • To protect against the flu get a yearly flu vaccine
  • Stay away from people who are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.  Throw the tissue in the trash after     use
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Wash hands often with soap and water or use hand-sanitizer if soap and water is not available
  • Drink fluids (water, juice, soup) to keep hydrated
  • Get plenty of rest
  • If your child has a fever keep him/her home until he/she has been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs

Submitted by Fran Barron R.N., BHS

more information is available at:


Differences Between Colds and the Flu



  • Symptoms are usually less severe than flu symptoms
  • Symptoms are usually more severe than cold symptoms
  • Symptoms develop gradually over a few days.
  • Symptoms come on quickly and severely.
  • You rarely have a fever.
  • You almost always have a fever.
  • You feel sick mostly in your head and nose.
  • Your entire body feels sick.
  • Body aches, headaches and pain are usually mild if you have them.
  • aches, headaches and pain are usually mild if you have them.
  • Body aches, headaches and pain are common and can be severe.
  • You may or may not feel tired and weak.
  • Tiredness and weakness are common.
  • There is no vaccine to protect you.
  • You can get vaccine to protect yourself.
  • Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.
  • The flu can result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.


Similarities Between Colds and the Flu



  • Caused by a virus.
  • Caused by a virus.
  • Affects the body’s breathing system (nose, throat, windpipe and lungs).
  • Affects the body’s breathing system (nose, throat, windpipe and lungs).
  • Usually goes away on its own.
  • Usually goes away on its own.
  • You should contact your doctor if symptoms change or get worse.
  • You should contact your doctor if symptoms change or get worse.  There are antiviral medicines, by prescription, to treat the flu.


6 Important Facts About Juul

The rapid ascension of JUUL, the new e-cigarette that is so popular with young people and has accumulated a majority of the e-cigarette market share in just two years, has left a trail of questions and concerns.

Here are six important facts to know about JUUL:

1. One JUUL pod contains 20 cigarettes worth of nicotine.

The amount of nicotine in one JUUL cartridge is roughly equal to the amount of nicotine in a pack of cigarettes, or about 200 puffs, according to the product website.

While less toxic than combustible cigarettes, e-cigarettes can make youth more likely to use cigarettes and still contain toxins and the addictive chemical nicotine, which is harmful to adolescent brain development.

2. Almost one-fifth of middle and high school students have seen JUUL used in school.

JUUL is easy to hide because it looks like a flash drive and can be charged in a USB port. It also does not produce a strong odor.

These characteristics enable discreet use, especially in schools. Almost one-fifth of middle and high school students have seen JUUL used in school, according to an April 2018 Truth Initiative® survey of more than 1,000 youth between 12 and 17 years old.1 in 5 students have seen JUUL in school

3. JUUL comes in sweet and fruity flavors, which make it especially dangerous.

JUUL comes in a variety of flavors, such as fruit medley, mango, cool cucumber and creme brulee. Flavors in tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, have been proven to appeal to young people. Flavored e-cigarettes are especially dangerous, not only because they attract youth, but because their young users are likely to be misinformed about the harmfulness of the products.

Many youth e-cigarette users incorrectly believe they aren’t consuming nicotine when they vape. The majority of youth e-cigarette users think they vaped only flavoring, not nicotine, the last time they used a product, according to an annual national survey of more than 40,000 students from the University of Michigan 2016 Monitoring the Future study.

4. Minors are getting JUUL in stores, online and through friends.

By law, people under the age of 18 (or 21 in some areas) should not be able to purchase any tobacco products, including JUUL. So, how are so many young people getting their hands on JUUL?

Truth Initiative surveyed a national sample of more than 1,000 12- to 17-year-olds in April 2018 and found that nearly three quarters — 74 percent — of youth said that they obtained JUUL at a store or retail outlet.  Just over half — 52 percent — reported that they received JUUL from a social source, such as a friend or family member. Although the internet was not the most common way youth obtained JUUL — only 6 percent reported that they received the product through an online transaction — nearly all youth who tried to buy the product online were successful.

5. Copycat products are flooding the market.

Many companies are producing look-alike products to try to cash in on the profits of the top-selling e-cigarette. There are so many new devices that a social media account dedicated to e-cigarettes and vaping devices, Salt Porn, posted in May, “It feels like there is a new pod system released every day and we receive tons of them … So many in fact that there is no way we can review them all.” These products are not only putting a generation of youth at risk of nicotine addiction, but they appear to be breaking the law.

6. The FDA has taken some action, but more needs to be done.

In recent months, the Food and Drug Administration has taken some actions regarding JUUL, including issuing warning letters to retailers for selling the product to minors. The FDA also asked the maker, JUUL Labs, to turn over documents related to marketing, health effects and use among youth. While these actions are encouraging, problems with tobacco products like JUUL won’t be addressed until the FDA fully regulates e-cigarettes and establishes a strong pre-market review process to prevent these kinds of products from being sold in the first place.

Truth Initiative and five other public health and medical groups called on the FDA to take action on JUUL in April. The groups specified five actions, including removing certain JUUL flavors, suspending internet sales and prohibiting branded merchandise.

Source: Truth Initiative inspiring tobacco free lives, August 28, 2018.

Submitted by Ellen Wright, RN, South Middle School


National Wear Red Day

Friday, February 2, 2018

What is the goal of Go Red For Women?

Go Red For Women encourages awareness of the issue of women and heart disease, and also action to save more lives. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them the tools they need to lead a heart healthy life.

In 2010, the AHA set a strategic goal of reducing death and disability from cardiovascular disease and strokes by 20 percent while improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent by the year 2020.

How does the AHA use funds raised from Go Red For Women activities?

The AHA uses all revenues from local and National Go Red For Women activities to support awareness, research, education and community programs to benefit women.

These funds allow us to help women by offering educational programs, advancing women’s understanding about their risk for heart disease and providing tools and motivation to help women reduce their risk to protect their health. For example, the Go Red Heart Check Up has engaged more than 2 million women to learn their risk of heart disease.

Based on our own research, a woman who Goes Red:

  • follows an exercise routine
  • eats healthier diet
  • visits her doctor for important tests
  • and influences others by talking about heart health.

Funds raised by Go Red For Women activities also support research to discover scientific knowledge about heart health. We turn this science into materials and tools that healthcare providers and decision- makers can use to help women. Scientific guidelines on women and healthcare providers receive the most up-to-date strategies and treatments tailored to a woman’s individual risk. Toolkits, pocket versions of guidelines for women, and special reports, and continuing medical education give healthcare providers the tools to ensure that women are being treated according to the guidelines. More than 200,000 healthcare provider offices have received Go Red For Women educational tools to use with patients.

Submitted by Mary Ann O’Rourke, RN, East Middle School

Local Support for Families

The Quincy Family Resource Center                           

(QFRC) provides community-based, parenting programs, support groups, early childhood services, and information and referral resources for  families whose children range in age from birth to 18. The goal of the QFRC is to provide information and assistance to families needing access to health, safety, employment training, education and peer support. Through the work of the QFRC families can focus on strengthening their bonds, connecting to others, and engaging in their communities.

For more information: or call 617-481-7227

The QFRC also offers on-site programs and groups including:

  • parenting workshops,
  • self-help groups,
  • a grandparents group,
  • family events and activities, and
  • playgroups.

In addition, we give families assistance in accessing other supports and services that exist beyond our walls as well as helping families with specific services for troubled youth (i.e. truancy, problems at home, running away from home, and exploitation). All of our services are free to the community.


WIC is a nutrition program that provides nutrition and health education, healthy food and other services free of charge to Massachusetts families who qualify. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children.


WIC’s goal is to help keep pregnant and breastfeeding women and kids under age 5 healthy. To do this, WIC provides:

• Personalized nutrition consultations
• Free, healthy food
• Tips for eating well to improve health
• Referrals for medical and dental care, health insurance, child care, housing and fuel assistance, and other services that can benefit the whole family

But that’s not all! WIC offers breastfeeding classes, one-on-one breastfeeding support, as well as immunization screening and referrals. WIC also provides parents with opportunities to talk with other parents about nutrition and other health topics that are important to their families.


WIC is for all kinds of families: married and single parents, working or not working. If you are a father, mother, grandparent, foster parent or other legal guardian of a child under 5, you can apply for WIC for your child.

You can participate in WIC if you:

• Live in Massachusetts
• Have a nutritional need (WIC staff can help you determine this)
• Are a child under 5, or a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, and
• Have a family income less than WIC guidelines






































IF YOU ARE PREGNANT, YOU CAN COUNT YOURSELF AS TWO.                                        

You are automatically income eligible for WIC if you are currently receiving TAFDC, SNAP, or MassHealth. (MassHealth members with Family Assistance or CommonHealth coverage are not automatically income eligible.) Foster kids under age 5 are also automatically eligible for WIC.


WIC welcomes men! WIC recognizes the important role that fathers, grandparents, stepparents, and other guardians play in caring for kids. Fathers and other caregivers of kids under 5 are encouraged to enroll and bring kids to appointments, attend nutrition and health workshops, and use WIC in grocery stores.


  • Brockton (508) 588-8241
  • Plymouth (508) 747-4933
  • Quincy (617) 376-4190

Call the WIC Program office in your community to set up an appointment or call 1-800-WIC-1007. Many WIC offices are open in the evenings and on Saturdays so you do not have to miss work. Walk-ins are always welcome.


If your child becomes ill or injured while at school, every attempt will be made to contact a parent to make    arrangements to take the child home.

Injuries at school, if severe, will be handled as an emergency situation and local EMS will be called to take your child to the most appropriate receiving hospital.  Parents will be notified immediately if an ambulance is called.

All medications given by the nurse at school require a doctor’s order except acetaminophen (Tylenol) grades 1-12, Ibuprofen (motrin, advil) grades 6-12, and Benadryl grades 1-12.  All medication does require parental permission and all medication must be brought to school by a parent or guardian.

If your child needs to be excused from physical education class for more than one day, notification in writing is required from both parent and physician.  Written documentation is required for return to physical education class as well.  If your child has a cast of any kind, they will be medically excused from physical education class until the injury is healed, the cast removed, and written physician clearance is received. 

Parents are expected to keep emergency contact numbers up to date.  If the information for yourself or other emergency contacts change, please notify the school nurse immediately.     

Thank you!