News from Nurse Jen



    picture of Nurse Jen


    News from Nurse Jen,

    Hi!  I am Nurse Jen  (Jen Eagle) and I am very excited to be working at Winnona Park.  I moved from Chicago (Go Bears!) to Decatur 18 years ago. I have 4 kids in city schools of Decatur ages 13, 12, 10, and almost 8.  

    As we are now entering  our 1st month of school, I wanted to send out a few reminders.  

    I know getting a call from me during the day is not what you want to receive, but rest assured, I want to keep the kids at school as much as you do.  Not all calls mean you have to pick up your child. I will not call on minor bumps and skin abrasions, bug bites or short visits to the clinic for stomach aches or cold symptoms.  I will always call you when your child has a major head bump or facial abrasions, however many times they do not need to go home. In addition, sometimes for our little ones, just hearing mom or dad’s voice is the TLC that is needed to make it through the day.

    Times when I call and you WILL need to pick up your child:

    • Fever greater than 100.0
    • Vomiting x 2
    • Diarrhea x 2
    • Pink Eye that appears bacterial, yellow crusting, oozing
    • Coughing, sneezing, runny nose that affects the child’s ability to focus in class
    • Stomach ache that is not resolved with rest or bathroom and affects child’s ability to remain in class.
    • Sprain or strain and child will not bear weight.
    • Head bump accompanied with loss of consciousness, nausea/vomiting &/or headache.
    • Laceration that needs to be assessed for sutures

    ** A parent reminder:  If you tell your child that you will pick them up if they don’t feel well,  9 times out of 10, you will receive a call within the first 2 hours of the school day!!  


    On August 1st, Winnona Park was lice free.  However, just like there is always a child at school with a cold, there is a good chance there is a child with lice.  Most people associate lice with school, however lice is rarely transmitted at school. We see an increase at the return of school and breaks.  This is often falsely attributed to a return to the school environment, but is actually due to being in the community for an extended period of time.  The school, rather than being the proximate cause of infestation, is the location of its identification!

    Lice are a nuisance, but not a health hazard.  If you find lice on your child’s head, we recommend the following.  Treat your child’s head with an effective lice treatment before they return to school.  Check family members, but only treat if lice are found. Notify any close friends whom your child may have had extended heat to head contact with.  Clean items that have been in contact with your child’s head the previous 24-48 hours. Continue to daily comb your child’s head for the next 2 weeks.  

    If lice are found on your child’s head at school, a parent will be notified, however the child will not be sent home.  Parents can make the decision to come & pick up their child if convenient. By the time live lice are found, the child has already had lice for a few weeks.

    The best way to keep lice under control is parent diligence.  Check your child’s head routinely for lice & treat only when live lice are found.  

    Too Sick for School

    Is it just a cold or is your child too sick for school?  Here are a few parameters on when you should keep your child home.

    Fever, temp over 100:  Fevers are a common symptom of viral or bacterial infection.  Children are likely to be contagious to others when they have a fever.  Keep child home until they are fever free (without meds) for 24 hours

    Stomach Pain: Vomiting or diarrhea, keep at home until symptom free for 24 hours.   No other visible symptoms: child may be hungry, ate too fast, nervous about school or just wanting to stay home.  A bathroom trip might be in order also. Consult a medical provider and do not send a child to school with a stomach ache that is persistent or severe enough to limit activity.

    Cold/coughing:  A child with mild symptoms, no fever and otherwise feeling well may be fine at school.  A child with heavy cold symptoms such as deep or uncontrollable coughing or significant lack of energy belongs at home even without a fever.  

    FLU: A child with flu-like illness (fever and cough) must stay home from school for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing meds.  Children are one of the biggest sources for spreading the flu.

    Sore Throat: a child with a mild sore throat, no fever and otherwise feeling well may be fine to attend school.  Keep a child home and contact a medical provider for a severe sore throat and if white spots are seen in the back of the throat, with or without a fever.

    Pink Eye:  Conjunctivitis is a common infectious disease of one of both eyes caused by several types of bacteria and viruses. If a child’s eye is red, irritated and has copious drainage the child should be kept at home until seen by a medical provider & return to school with or without treatment depending on the diagnosis.  Bacterial conjunctivitis requires prescription medication and child must be treated for 24 hours before returning to school.

    Strep Throat:  If your child is diagnosed with Strep Throat, they must be kept home until 24 hours after antibiotic treatment has started.  

    Please notify the school if your child has been diagnosed with strep throat, chickenpox, scarlet fever, lice or any other contagious illness.


    All medications must come to the clinic in their original container.  Prescription medications need the pharmacy label attached. A medication form needs to be filled out for any medication, even over-the-counter (OTC) meds, to be given at school.  Prescribed or over-the-counter medications brought in baggies, in unmarked containers or that are expired shall not be given. We do not provide OTC meds.  We do not provide COUGH DROPS!


    If your child has any medical action plan, ie:food allergy, seizure, diabetes, asthma, etc., a new action plan, signed by the physician, is required each year.  Please send in updated action plans asap.  


    Please help us keep our children healthy by keeping your child home if ill. Remember, one sick child can spread illness to all his classmates and to the WP staff.

    If a child is sent home in the middle of the day with fever, vomiting, diarrhea,  they cannot return to school the next day. Remember, 24 hours fever and symptom free!!!  

    Feel free to contact me anytime with questions or concerns.

    Jen Eagle