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Health Bulletin Fall 2012

Flu season is coming! Get vaccinated!

Vaccines (“shots”) are the best way to prevent influenza (“the flu”). Some symptoms of the flu can include sore throat, coughing, runny nose and fever. Other symptoms can include chills, headaches, tiredness, body pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

If you get the flu vaccine, it can help keep you and others from getting sick. It is important to get a vaccine before you get sick.

Who needs a flu vaccine?
  • Children from 6 months to18 years old.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People 65 years and older.
  • People with certain chronic medical conditions (check with your doctor).
  • People who live in a nursing home or other facility.
  • People who live or work with any of the above groups (for example, healthcare workers).
  • People who live with a baby up to 6 months old.
  • Anyone else who wants to avoid getting sick from the seasonal flu.
Who needs a flu vaccine? Your doctor can give you the flu vaccine. If you do not have a doctor, there are other ways to get the flu vaccine:
  • Clinics and pharmacies in your neighborhood.
  • If you are over the age of 18 and live in Philadelphia, you can visit one of the health department's flu clinics to get the vaccine.
  • You can also find a provider near your school, job, or home.
Free Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for girls AND boys ages 13-18. Find out more by visiting our Facebook page.
Eye Health

Many children have never had their eyes checked. This can be a problem because reading and writing are a big part of the school day.

The earlier an eye problem is found and treated, the more likely the treatment will work. Vision checks at school are helpful, but should not take the place of a checkup with an eye doctor if there are any problems. Make an eye doctor appointment if your child:

  • Squints
  • Sits too close to the TV
  • Loses his or her place while reading
  • Gets headaches
  • Fails a vision check at school

Back-to-School Health Tips

Parents should tell the school nurse about:

  • Your child's emergency contact information. Keep this up-to-date.
  • Medication your child takes. Even if your child only takes his/her medication at home, let the nurse know.
  • Any health or physical problems. Such as asthma, a heart murmur or arthritis.

Childhood Obesity

Being overweight or obese can lead to serious health problems. Obesity can lead to many health problems:

  • Heart disease- leading cause of death in the US.
  • Type 2 diabetes- can cause blindness and kidney failure.
  • Asthma- causes wheezing, chest tightness and coughing.
  • Sleep apnea- interrupts breathing during sleep.
As a parent or caregiver, you can help prevent childhood obesity:
  • Serve fruits and vegetables.
  • Serve water or milk instead of sodas and other drinks with a lot of sugar.
  • Serve smaller portions.
  • Limit food and snacks with sugar and fat.
  • Try to make your favorite meals healthier.
  • Include 60 minutes of exercise each day. You can walk, play tag, jump rope, play soccer, swim and dance.