Archive for March, 2009

School Nurses Continue to Shine

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

In previous GERMBlog posts, I’ve had the opportunity to write about how important school nurses are to the health of our kids and to the health of our communities. This past week I again had the honor of keynoting a statewide conference of school nurses, this time in Maryland. The Maryland Association of School Health Nurses (MASHN) held their annual meeting in Ocean City, MD and once again I was awestruck by the knowledge, commitment, and passion of these fine professionals. After hearing about my “Germ Proof Your Schools” program, a 3-pronged approach to reducing the spread of infections in schools and reducing absenteeism, we had a long and free-wheeling question and answer session. It was there that the essence of school nursing could be felt. Intelligent, thoughtful, and incisive questions about everything ranging from 5th Disease (parvoviruses) and pregnant teachers, norovirus susceptibility to alcohol hand sanitizers, no-nit policies, and the science behind auto-immune diseases that seem to follow viral infections like mono and coxsackievirus, to questions about vaccines and autism, school exclusion policies for unimmunized kids, and the use of probiotics during antibiotic therapy. Lots of great input also from the nurses on my discussions regarding MRSA, influenza, vitamin C and other “immune boosters”, and grandma’s wisdom about keeping kids healthy.

Thanks to Barbara and her colleagues for inviting me to their wonderful gathering and for helping me add Maryland schools to the growing list of states that are “Germ Proofing” their schools and day care centers.

You can find lots more about my “Germ Proof Your Schools” program in earlier Dr. Rotbart’s GERMBlog posts (simply type “school nurses” in the search box on this page), as well as in the book, Germ Proof Your Kids – The Complete Guide to Protecting (without Overprotecting) Your Family from Infections (ASM Press, Washington, D.C., 2008).