Common student ailments

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STREP THROAT

Nurse Valerie Lawton (left) gets Justin Harless (center), 8, a bag for ice to treat a swollen lip in the clinic at Warren Road Elementary School while Treyvon McBride, 8, waits for his parents to pick him up after breaking his thumb in PE class.  Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Nurse Valerie Lawton (left) gets Justin Harless (center), 8, a bag for ice to treat a swollen lip in the clinic at Warren Road Elementary School while Treyvon McBride, 8, waits for his parents to pick him up after breaking his thumb in PE class.

SYMPTOMS: Sore throat, fever, headache and in some cases vomiting or abdominal pain. Parents can use a flashlight to look inside their child's mouth. The tonsils will be swollen and "bright, beefy red." They could also have white spots.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Sore throats are caused by viruses, and like colds they must run their course. Strep throat, though, is a bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics. The number of cases of strep throat goes up when children are in close quarters.

STAY HOME? It's best to stay home, but with antibiotics your child should be able to return to school quickly. It's not highly contagious; however, strep can be spread.

TIME TO SEE A DOCTOR? Bring your child to a doctor if you suspect strep throat. Treatment can have a child feeling better in 24 hours.

PINKEYE

SYMPTOMS: Pinkeye is "basically a cold in the eye." It affects the tissues on the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid. Eyes will be red and scratchy, and there will be a discharge.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Don't rub your eyes. If you do, wash your hands to prevent from spreading it.

STAY HOME? If the eye is only mildly red and scratchy with little discharge, a child can go to school.

TIME TO SEE A DOCTOR? Call the doctor if there is a large amount of pus and discharge in the eye. Some doctors will prescribe medication over the phone if the child isn't having vision problems. If your child is having trouble seeing and is in pain, a doctor's visit is in order.


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