Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dental Health Survey for Third Grade

MBS has been selected to participate in the 2016-17 Keep Smiling Vermont Dental Health Survey!

This program is a collaboration of the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Agency of Education to assesses the dental health of children in Vermont.

All 3rd grade students at MBS are offered a free dental screening as part of the survey. Families are encouraged to participate, even if they have a family dentist. A questionnaire and opt-out form are being sent home this week, as well as a FAQ sheet about the survey. Please complete the form and return to school-or you can fill out the form online at:

How does the survey work? A dental hygienist will look at your child's teeth using a disposable mirror and a new pair of gloves for each child. The screening takes about 1 minute, and the child can stop the screening at any time. No sharp instruments will be used, no dental treatments will be provided, and no x-rays will be taken. Each student who participates will receive a dental goody bag and the results of the screening. This screening does not take the place of a regular dental check-up by your dentist.

If you have questions about the Dental Health Survey program, please contact Robin Miller, Oral Health Director at (802) 863-7272 or

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Facts about Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is now popping up in the community. Below are some helpful facts about Pertussis. The Vermont Department of Health has more information about Pertussis. 

What is whooping cough? Whooping cough is a highly contagious illness caused by bacteria. It mainly affects the respiratory system (the organs that help you breathe). 

Are whooping cough and pertussis the same thing? Whooping cough is the common name for pertussis. 

Who can get whooping cough? People of all ages can get whooping cough. 

How serious is whooping cough? Whooping cough can be very serious, especially for babies and young kids. Whooping cough can cause pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death. Less serious illness can occur in older children and in those who have been vaccinated. 

What are the symptoms of whooping cough? Children and others with whooping cough can have severe coughing spells that make it hard to eat, drink, breathe, or sleep. Sometimes they cough and then gag or make a “whooping” sound when breathing in. This sound is how the disease got its name. Babies younger than 6 months may or may not cough. Instead, they may have gagging or life-threatening pauses in breathing or struggle to breathe. Some babies may turn blue because they don’t get enough oxygen and can’t catch their breath. Older kids and adults may just have a bad cough that lasts for multiple weeks, 

How soon do symptoms appear? Symptoms usually start 5 to 21 days (average 7 to 10 days) after being around someone with whooping cough. 

How does whooping cough spread? You can get whooping cough from breathing in pertussis bacteria. This germ comes out of the mouth and nose when someone who has whooping cough sneezes or coughs. 

How is whooping cough treated? Whooping cough is generally treated with antibiotics (a medicine to kill germs in the body). It’s important to start taking the medicine as soon as possible to slow the spread of the disease. Early treatment may also make the symptoms less severe. 

How is whooping cough prevented? Getting vaccinated is the best way to stop the spread of whooping cough. Using good health manners also helps slow the spread of whooping cough—wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home when you’re sick. 

Are some people at higher risk from whooping cough? It is most dangerous for babies under the age of six months. Pregnant women and people who spend a lot of time with babies need to be vaccinated so they can help to protect these babies. Some people with other health conditions can also get dangerously sick from whooping cough. 

What if I was exposed to someone who has whooping cough? It depends what kind of exposure. Call your health care provider to ask whether or not you should take medicine that can prevent you from getting whooping cough. 

What should I do if I have a cough? If you have symptoms, such as a cough and fever, stay away from babies, pregnant women and people who are at higher risk for getting whooping cough until you have been seen by a health care provider. 

What should I do if I think someone in my family has whooping cough? If you think you or one of your family members has whooping cough, call your health care provider. Try to stay away from other people until the illness is evaluated. Whooping cough is a possibility if someone has a bad cough, especially if it lasts longer than two weeks, or if the coughing happens in spells followed by gagging or difficulty catching the breath.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Still plenty of time to get a Flu Shot!

It's not too late to get a flu shot!

What better time to remind you about flu shots than National Influenza Vaccination Week!? If your child hasn't received their vaccine yet, now's a great time to get it done. Any child over 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine.  Visit the CDC website for more information about the Flu Vaccine. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

New Media Guidelines by American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released new guidelines for the use of media by adolescents. They have also created a great online tool to help families set up their own Media Use Plan to help determine the right balance of media and other healthy activities for each child. 

The AAP stresses that the guidelines are not a 'one size fits all' approach, and recommends that parents and caregivers develop a family media plan that takes into account the health, education and entertainment needs of each child as well as the whole family.

For school-aged children and adolescents, the idea is to balance media use with other healthy behaviors such as healthy meals, exercise, sleep, and family time. 

The Guidelines Statement can be read here: American Academy of Pediatrics Publications

Create your own Family Media Use Plan at:

Monday, October 17, 2016

Puberty Lessons October 24-28

Next week, 4th grade girls and all 5th graders will be participating in a puberty lesson as part of their PE classes. (4th grade boys will only be watching a video and discussing personal hygiene).

Topics for the 4th grade girls are female changes during puberty, basic anatomy, menstruation, emotional changes, and hygiene/personal care.

5th grade students learn about both male and female changes during puberty, basic anatomy, menstruation, hygiene/personal care, and emotional changes. They watch the same video, but we do separate boys and girls to watch the video. The 5th graders have a follow up class later in the week to have further discussion and ask questions.

 If you would like to preview the video and the information that is covered, please join us Tuesday, October 18 for a parent preview night.  We will be meeting in the library.

                                                   10/18  5:30pm: 4th Grade Girls 

                                   10/18  6:30pm: 5th Grade Girls and Boys

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tick Information

Fall is a wonderful time to be outside in Vermont. It's also a time when Ticks are more prevalent. The Vermont Department of Health has a large amount of information about ticks and tickborne illness including prevention, tick identification, and removal tips. 

Click here to read the 'Be Tick Smart' Booklet

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Head Lice

No parent wants to hear those dreaded words:  Head Lice     

Unfortunately, head lice are an inevitable part of childhood and will make their way into the school and classroom. I have seen several cases of head lice since school started. My procedure when head lice is found is to notify the parent by phone, I send home written information about how to treat head lice, and I send a letter to the classroom notifying other parents that head lice was found in their child's class. This allows other families to check for lice and lets us know if the lice have had a chance to spread. I do not do entire classroom head checks unless there have been several cases found in a class.

Please let me know if you have found and treated head lice on your child. I always keep student information private and confidential. I have the most up-to-date information on how to best treat for head lice and can help dispel any myths around it.

What should you teach your child to help prevent getting lice?

1. Avoid head-to-head contact! This is the primary way that head lice are spread. Be especially aware of sleepovers as this is a common way that lice are spread. 
2. Keep long hair pulled back in a ponytail or braid
3. Don't share hats, combs, hair brushes, or hair ties
4. Keep your personal belongings (sweatshirts, hats, etc) in your backpack at school

Oh crumb, my kid got head lice anyway. Now what!? 

Here are my top 5 tips for treating head lice!

1. Shampoo with an over the counter Lice Shampoo such as Nix or Rid. Follow the directions carefully! 
2. Check everyone in the house. 
3. Clean the environment. (Wash bedding, vaccuum, bag things that can't be washed) 
4. Comb, Comb, Comb. Daily combs with a metal lice comb. This can be tedious, but families who comb daily until no live lice or nits have been seen for 2 weeks are the most successful at treating lice. 
5. Retreat with the Lice Shampoo 10 days after the first treatment. This second treatment is VERY important as it will kill any lice that have hatched after the first treatment before they have a chance to lay more eggs. 

Want more information?

Please don't hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions about head lice!