School nurses are specialised qualified experienced professionals that work across health and education boundaries.
They work with individual children, young people and families, schools and communities to improve health.
They also provide the link between school, home and the community. They are supported with a team of Registered Nurses and Health Care Support Workers.
Accidents are a leading cause of death and serious injury for children and young people, with many of these accidents being preventable.
The term Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is used to describe a wide range of traumatic events that children can be exposed to while growing up but that are remembered throughout adulthood.
These include neglect and physical, verbal and sexual abuse along with harms that affect the environment in which the child lives such as exposure to domestic violence, family breakdown, and living in a home affected by substance abuse, mental illness or criminal behaviour.
Asthma affects the airways (the small breathing tubes) that carry air in and out of the lungs. Children and young people with asthma have airways that are more sensitive than normal. Although there is no cure for asthma there are effective treatments that can be used to control the symptoms.
“People with Autism or Asperger syndrome may appear to behave unusually. There will generally be a reason for this: it can be an attempt to communicate, or a way of coping with a particular situation.” The National Autistic Society
If you are concerned about a child or young person with an acute illness please contact your GP, or call NHS Direct Wales
Designed to Smile is a national oral health improvement programme to improve the dental health of children in Wales. This programme involves the delivery of School/ Nursery based tooth brushing and fluoride vanish programmes for children aged 3-5 helping establish good habits early on. Also children aged 6-11 will receive a Fissure Sealant programme as well as preventative advice on how to look after their oral health.
You may be curious about drugs and/or feel pressured by friends to try drugs.
Good mental health enables children and young people to lead happier lives, find it easier to learn, enjoy friendships and ultimately fulfil their potential.
The emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults. (Mental Health Foundation 2016)
Childhood, and the transition into a becoming an adult, can often be a challenging time. Young people today can face stressful situations and unfamiliar challenges such as; exams, new relationships and the impact of social media. Many young people feel confused and unsure how to express how they are feeling and where to get help.
Most people experience low moods, from time to time. Occasionally, these feelings may become more intense and may start to impact on their day-to-day lives.
Your GP or School Nurse will also be able to provide you with further advice on referrals to specialist services and local agencies. If you are worried about your child’s emotional or mental health please speak to your GP.
It's best to introduce the topic of puberty to your child as young as you are comfortable with, so they know about it before they start developing and may worry about their changing bodies physically and emotionally. Let your child know you’re always happy to answer any questions they have or if they prefer suggest they talk to another family member or trusted adult - maybe an older brother or sister. Children will get information whether it is from the TV, magazines or friends, however this information may be confusing or may be not be accurate.
Ask your child’s class teacher about the lessons they will have on this topic and when they will happen. You can tailor your talk based on what they will learn/have already. If parents are able to talk to their children they can make sense of the information and reduce anxiety.
If you have any questions you can discuss this with your child’s classroom teacher or school nurse.
Head lice are tiny insects that live in hair. Un- hatched eggs are darker in colour and usually take 7-10 days to hatch. Hatched eggs (Nits) are the empty eggs cases that appear white in colour and attach to hair that head lice hatch from. You only have head lice if you can find a living, moving louse (not a nit) on the scalp. Head lice are a common problem, particularly in school children aged 4-11. They are harmless, but can live in the hair for a long time if not treated and can be irritating and frustrating.
Childhood is an important time to develop a healthy body and healthy habits.
The hearing test on your child in reception class is carried out by the community audiology department. You will be informed of any concerns and a referral may be made for a further audiology appointment.
If a hearing problem is undetected it can affect a child’s progress with speech, attention and literacy skills. Noisy environments may mean that it is difficult for the child to hear well.
If your child has any difficulty hearing it is therefore important to let your child’s class teacher know, so that that are able to sit them near to the teacher or where there are less sounds to distract them. It may also be necessary for them to have instructions repeated during a lesson. If you are concerned regarding your child’s hearing, you can contact your School Nurse who can refer your child to the community audiology department. You can also speak with your child’s GP who can examine the inner ear.
Spotting signs of a hearing problem
If your teenager is starting University or employment you may be asked to provide evidence of the immunisations that they have received as part of the childhood immunisation schedule. Your GP will be able to provide you with this information. However if your GP cannot help this information please contact the School Immunisation Team on 01633 618038 who will be able to signpost you to the correct service.
The childhood Immunisation schedule is designed to provide maximum protection and it is important that young people complete courses, to be provided lifelong protection. Routine childhood vaccinations are highly effective, safe and free.
If you think your child or teenager may have missed any vaccinations, please check with their Dr’s Surgery, and book an appointment if necessary, to get them protected.
The up to date Childhood Immunisation schedule and other information about immunisations and vaccinations can be found at on the NHS Choices website.
Long-term conditions are health conditions that require ongoing management over a period of years.
Being active has many benefits including helping to maintain a healthy weight, reducing stress and promoting sleep.
Children and young people between the ages of 5-19 should take part in 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
This may include:
School Entry Review is part of the Healthy Child Wales Progrramme (Welsh Government WG 2016) which is offered to all children in Wales.
It is important for young people to have the right information about how to look after themselves, how to stay safe and make the right health choices.
Sleep is an important part of a child’s day and a good sleep hygiene routine can be beneficial to a child’s development. There are things that parents and carers can do to improve their child’s sleep.
Be clear about how much sleep your child needs, they may want to stay up late, but, will this impact on their behaviour tomorrow when it’s time to get up for school and will they be able to function to their full potential?
When setting bedtimes, explain these to your child during the day. Don’t wait until the time you want your child to settle and then announce “Bed time!” Give your child a regular routine that will help them to wind down. Ensure your child knows bedtime is not a punishment, make it a calm, enjoyable time with activities such as a bath and or story. Avoid stimulating activities such as TV or computer games.
Increasingly children and young people are spending a lot of time using the internet to help them with their school work and homework in order to help them learn.
Smoking is bad for your health and increases your risk of getting many serious diseases.
Being out in the sunshine has benefits for your health. It makes people feel better about themselves, allows them to use vitamin D and gives increased opportunity to take physical activity.
Ticks are common in grass, trees, shrubs and leaf piles. Tick bites are often harmless in which case they don’t cause any noticeable symptoms. However, ticks can cause allergic reactions and can pass diseases onto humans and pets when they bite.
The longer the tick remains on the skin, the higher the risk of it passing on infection. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be spread by infected ticks. Ensure you seek medical advice immediately if you child has a tick bite.
As part of the School Entry Review your School Nurse will carry out a distance vision screening test.
A young carer is a person under the age of 18 years who provides care for another person, most commonly a parent or sibling. This is because that person has an illness, disability, mental health problem or problems with addiction to alcohol or drugs.
It is important that young carers and their families receive support.
It may be reassuring to know that you are not alone. Around half a million teenagers wet the bed at night – that equals one in 75 teenagers.
Domestic abuse also called domestic violence, is when an adult threatens, bullies or hurts another adult who are or have been a partner or family member, regardless of gender or sexuality. It can happen to anybody.
Abuse can be physical, sexual, financial and emotional. You may feel that you are to blame and may feel angry, guilty, insecure and frightened. It is unacceptable for this to occur and so if you or someone you know is affected by this you need to discuss it with someone you trust. Always remember if you are concerned about your or someone elses safety call the police. You can also speak to a health professional or your teacher.