Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Fifth Disease

Milton and Cozy have seen a handful of Fifth Disease cases in the last few months.  This is relatively common, but as a result, I wanted to share some important information about the disease (from KidsHealth.org) with you to keep you aware and informed should your child come down with an unusual rash.  As always, if you have any additional questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to me at (973) 697-4777 ext. 5535. 

What Is Fifth Disease?
Fifth disease is viral illness that most kids recover from quickly and without complications. Also called erythema infectiosum, it's caused by parvovirus B19. It's especially common in kids ages 5 to 15.
Fifth disease causes a distinctive red rash on the face that makes a child appear to have a "slapped cheek." A few days later, the rash spreads down to the trunk, arms, and legs. It usually lasts 1 to 3 weeks.
In older kids and adults, fifth disease can cause joint swelling and pain that can last from weeks to months and, very rarely, years.

Signs and Symptoms

Fifth disease begins with a low fever, headache, and mild cold-like symptoms (like a stuffy or runny nose). These symptoms pass, and the illness seems to be gone until the rash appears a few days later. Kids younger than 10 are most likely to get the rash.
The bright red rash usually starts on the face. Then, red blotches (usually lighter in color) appear on the trunk, arms, and legs. After a few days, the rash, which can be itchy, takes on a lacy net-like look.
In the time that it takes for the rash to completely clear, it may seem to get worse before it finally fades away.
Sometimes fifth disease also can cause swollen glands, red eyes, sore throat, diarrhea, and rarely, rashes that look like blisters or bruises. Joint swelling or pain (often in the hands, wrists, knees, or ankles) can sometimes happen, especially in adults and older teens.

Is Fifth Disease Contagious?

Yes. Because the rash is due to an immune system reaction that happens after the infection has passed, someone with fifth disease is most contagious before the rash appears. Kids usually don't spread the infection once they have the rash.

Can Fifth Disease Be Prevented?

There is no vaccine to prevent fifth disease, and no real way to prevent spreading the virus because a person usually isn't contagious by the time the rash appears.
Washing hands well and often is always a good idea because it can help prevent the spread of many infections.

How Is Fifth Disease Diagnosed?

Doctors can usually diagnose fifth disease by seeing the distinctive rash on the face and body. If someone doesn't have the rash but does have other symptoms, the doctor may do blood tests to see if they're caused by fifth disease.

How Is Fifth Disease Treated?

Fifth disease is caused by a virus, so can't be treated with antibiotics (antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses). In most cases, this is a mild illness that clears up on its own, so no medicine is needed.
Usually, kids with fifth disease feel OK and just need to rest. After the fever and mild cold symptoms are gone, there may be little to treat except any discomfort from the rash.
If your child's rash is itchy, ask the doctor for advice about easing discomfort. The doctor may also recommend acetaminophen for a fever or joint pain. Do not give aspirin to your child, as it has been linked to a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome.


Fifth disease might cause some children with weakened immune systems (such as those with AIDS or cancer) or with certain blood disorders (like sickle cell disease or hemolytic anemia) to become ill. The virus that causes it (parvovirus B19) can temporarily slow down or stop the body's production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells (RBCs). This can lead to severe anemia, which needs to be treated in a hospital.
Parvovirus B19 infection during a woman's pregnancy may cause problems for the fetus, especially during the first half of the pregnancy.

When to Call the Doctor

Call the doctor if your child develops a rash, especially if the rash is widespread over the body or accompanied by other symptoms, like fever, cold symptoms, or joint pain.
If you're pregnant and develop a rash or if you've been exposed to someone with fifth disease (or to anyone with an unusual rash), call your health care provider.

Tick Removal and Information

The following is important first aid information related to tick removal from KidsHealth.org.   For additional in-depth information about tick borne illnesses and prevention, be sure to visit the American Lyme Disease Foundation website at www.aldf.com  If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to me at (973) 697-4777 ext. 5535. 
Most tick bites are harmless and don't need medical treatment. But some ticks (like the deer tick, wood tick, and others) can carry harmful germs that cause diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. The deer tick is tiny, no larger than a pencil point. Other ticks are larger and easier to find on the skin.

How Do I Remove a Tick?

It's important to remove a tick as soon as possible. Follow these steps:
  1. Use tweezers to grasp the tick firmly at its head or mouth, next to the skin.
  2. Pull firmly and steadily until the tick lets go of the skin. Do not twist the tick or rock it from side to side. Parts of the tick might stay in the skin, but eventually will come out on their own.
  3. Wash your hands and the site of the bite with soap and water.
  4. Swab the bite site with alcohol.
Never use petroleum jelly or a hot match to kill and remove a tick. These methods don't get the tick off the skin, and can make it burrow deeper and release more saliva (which makes it more likely to pass a disease).

What Are the Signs of Tick-Related Diseases?

Watch out for:
  • a red bump ringed by an expanding red rash, which looks like a bull's-eye (Lyme disease)
  • red dots on the ankles and wrists (Rocky Mountain spotted fever)
  • flu-like symptoms such as feverheadache, tiredness, vomiting, and muscle and joint aches

When Should I Get Medical Care?

Call your doctor if:

  • The tick might have been on the skin for more than 24 hours.
  • Part of the tick remains in the skin.
  • A rash of any kind develops (especially a red-ringed bull's-eye rash or red dots on wrists and ankles).
  • The bite area looks infected (increasing warmth, swelling, pain, or oozing pus).
  • Symptoms like fever, headache, tiredness, stiff neck or back, or muscle or joint aches develop.

How Can I Protect My Kids From Ticks?

  • After kids play outside, check their skin and hair — especially the scalp, behind the ears, around the neck, in the eyebrows and eyelashes, and under the arms.
  • When playing in wooded areas, kids should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and tuck pant legs into their socks.
  • Use an insect repellent with at least 10% to 30% DEET for protection against bites and stings in kids older than 2 years, always carefully following the directions for application.
  • Avoid tick-infested areas.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

2018-2019 Screening

Hello Cozy Lake Families,
I have completed the screenings for 2018-2019.  All students were screened for vision, hearing, height, weight and blood pressure. 
If I found a discrepancy in their screening, I sent home a referral letter to alert you and suggest you seek further evaluation.  Referral letters will be coming home in your student's backpacks today or tomorrow. 
Please provide me with any follow up information you may receive from your doctor by the end of the year, so that I can update your child's medical record accordingly.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at (973) 697-4777 ext. 5535.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Dr. Harte Visits Cozy Lake Elementary School

On Friday, March 22, Dr. Harte visited Cozy Lake.  He offered an informative, interactive, fun-filled program on dental health to our first and second graders.  Dr. Harte explained that we don't just need to keep our teeth strong in order to chew our food, but also to be able to talk clearly and smile wide.  He reviewed the proper way to brush and floss our teeth 3 times per day.  The kids loved his excitement and energy and truly enjoyed his visit.  He provided each student with a goody bag filled with dental supplies and materials to reinforce his lesson.  Please be sure to ask your child about the visit and what they learned.  Dr. Harte is a local orthodontist with an amazing personality the kids love.  He is located at 6 Apple Tree Lane, Sparta, NJ 07871  (973) 729-5277. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Sugar Alert!

The drinks that were once an occasional treat are now being consumed on a daily basis by many of our kids!!!  I am surprised  how many students here at Cozy drink high sugar beverages with their lunch.  Many times the students drink them before eating, which results in a ruined appetite.  Not surprisingly, much of their meal ends up uneaten.  In addition, excessive consumption of sugar laden drinks contribute to cavities, diabetes, and obesity.  Please talk to your child about the drink choices they make, both at home and at school, and together discuss ways to limit daily sugar consumption and encourage hydration with water every day.

Please also take a moment to click above and watch this short video.  "Share the Love, Share the Water" encourages families to avoid sugar sweetened beverages.  

Monday, February 25, 2019

Is it Cold or Flu?

Every year, I get this question!
It is not always easy to tell the difference between the two....Strep throat and pneumonia may feel like the flu and an illness that seems like a cold, may turn out to be the flu!

The following is a guide to help you...

Questions???                                                      FLU    
1) Symptoms come on suddenly?                   YES                     
2) High Fever?                                                    YES   (may have mild fever w. cold)
3) Energy level Low?                                         YES                       
4) Head achy?                                                     YES                     
5) Low appetite?                                                 YES                       
6) Muscles achy?                                                YES                       
7) Chills?                                                              YES                       

What Should You Do?
Those under 5yo or with asthma, may have a harder time with the flu.  Always seek medical attention if your child's symptoms are getting worse, they have trouble breathing, high fever, bad headache, sore throat or seem confused.  Most of the time, treatment consists of plenty of rest, fluids, and comfort.  In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to help speed recovery (only effective if given within 48 hours of start of symptoms).

***Prevention is always the best medicine.  Reinforce healthy hygiene habits at home and encourage frequent and effective hand-washing. '

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at (973) 697-4777 ext 5535.

Cold/Flu Season At Cozy Lake

This winter is flying by!  I cant believe we enter the month of March at the end of the week!  Okay, so I know this is no consolation to those of you who have experienced illness this winter, but I am surprisingly happy to report that Cozy Lake has maintained relatively low absences due to illness for this time of year (knock on wood!). 

That said, though, our first grade population seems to have gotten hit a bit harder than second.  The worst week by far was the last week in January when we saw higher than average absences in the first grade.  When this occurs, we report any pockets of similar symptoms to our cleaning crew, who step up their sanitation/disinfecting procedures as needed.  In addition, we remind the students of the importance of healthy hygiene habits with a focus on consistent and effective hand-washing.  Please help support our efforts by reinforcing good hand-washing habits at home, as well as, keeping your child home if they exhibit illness symptoms in the morning.
Good news, the month of February has been relatively calm with only a  handful of students out for illness reasons on any given day.  I am hopeful that Spring in right around the corner and we will be seeing the healthy effects of a brighter sun, warmer weather, and fresh air!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at (973) 697-4777 ext. 5535.