Health Information

Last Updated: 6/24/2019 4:26 PM


Mrs. Baker and Mrs Herrmans are proud to announce that  both Woodcliff MS and Dorchester ES have been recognized as Asthma Friendly Schools by the Asthma Coalition of New Jersey.

Please take a few moments to explore this web site and educate yourself about asthma and food allergies.

Fifth's Disease

Fifth disease is a mild rash illness that occurs most commonly in children. The child typically presents with a “slapped-cheek” rash on the face and a lacy red rash on the trunk and limbs. Occasionally, the rash may itch. An ill child may have a low-grade fever, malaise, or a “cold” a few days before the rash breaks out. The child is usually not very ill, and the rash resolves in 7 to 10 days.

Fifth disease is caused by the human parvovirus B19. This virus infects only humans.

An adult who is not immune can be infected with parvovirus B19 and either develop no symptoms or develop the typical rash of fifth disease, joint pain or swelling, or both. The joints most frequently affected are the hands, wrists, and knees. The joint pain and swelling usually resolve in a week or two.

Fifth disease is communicable during the early part of the illness, before the rash appears. By the time the characteristic rash appears the child is no longer contagious.

Fifth disease is a serious illness for people with sickle-cell disease or similar types of chronic anemia. Also for people who have leukemia or cancer, or who are born with immune deficiencies, who have organ transplants, or HIV. Occasionally, serious complications may develop from parvovirus B19 infection during pregnancy. For details, please see the CDC information sheet entitled: Parvovirus B19 Infection and Pregnancy.”

A survey of elementary school parents asked the question of what childhood infection (or infestation) concerned them the most. The results showed that lice ranked higher than most serious conditions. With these results in mind, the following information is intended to give everyone the information needed to handle LICE.

Don’t Panic anyone-adult or youngest can get head lice. Head lice are passed from person to person by direct contact or on shared objects (combs, towels, headphones, etc). It has nothing to do with cleanliness and does not reflect on you as a parent. If your child develops head lice the following steps are recommended:
  1. Check every member of the family- look for tiny white eggs (nits) on hair shafts, near the scalp, especially at the nape of the neck and behind the ears. Hear lice are small grayish-tan insects without wings. Nits are small greyish white eggs.  Any family member with lice or nits must be treated.
  2. Use an effective head lice treatment. There are specific lice shampoos and there is a very effective holistic treatment.  If you use the shampoos follow the package directions completly.  For the holistic method, coat your child's head with Crisco shortening.  Cover their head with a shower cap and keep it covered for 3-6 hours.  Wash out the Crisco using Dawn detergent.  Wash your child's head with your usual shampoo and coat it with conditioner.  Section the hair and comb out each section with a fine tooth comb, wiping the comb after each swipe through the hair on a paper towel 
  3. The comb through is the most important step and takes the longest amount of time.  Keep combing until you no longer see anything on the paper towel.
  4. Wash clothes, bed linens, and towels using hot water and dry on hot cycle for at least 20 minutes. Items not machine washable must be dry cleaned or stored at room temperature in a tightly sealed plastic bag for at least 2 weeks.
  5. Soak combs, brushes, etc. in hot water, at least 130 degrees F. for 5-10 minutes. Better yet just replace them.
  6. Vacuum everywhere- vacuum the carpets, upholstered furniture, pillows, mattresses, and even the car seats.
Head lice cannot survive without a human host. They cannot survive on family pets. Most importantly if you find head lice in your child, please report it to the school nurse. The rest of the class and any friends must be check to prevent the spread.

Diabetes is a serious disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or respond properly to insulin, a hormone that allows blood glucose (sugar) to enter the cells of the body and be used for energy. Nearly 21 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes. It is the fifth deadliest disease in the U.S. and it has no cure.

November is National Diabetes Awareness month. The American Diabetes Association encourages the public to learn more about diabetes and the risks associated with the disease. Please take a few moments and explore the site listed below to learn more about diabetes.


Obesity in children and adolescents is a serious issue with many health and social consequences. Please take a few moments and explore this site @


Rabies is a serious disease that is caused by a virus. Each year, it kills more than 50,000 people and millions of animals around the world. Rabies has been reported in every state in the U.S. except Hawaii.

Any mammal can get rabies. Raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, dogs and cats can get rabies. Rabies is caused by a virus. An animal gets rabies from saliva, usually from a bite of an infected animal. You cannot get rabies from blood. Rabies can be prevented by the rabies vaccine and thorough cleaning of the wound.

If you are bitten by an animal, tell your parents right away so they can clean the bite wound with soap and water and take you to see a doctor.

Some of the signs of rabies in animals are:
-Changes in an animal’s behavior
-General sickness
-Problems swallowing
-Increased drooling

The best advice is to stay away from wild animals. If you see a wild animal or a stray cat or dog, do not go near the animal. Tell your parents so they can call an animal control officer. Vaccinate your dogs, cats, and ferrets against rabies.


Pertussis (whooping cough) is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the respiratory system, which causes episodes of severe coughing. Children in the United States are vaccinated for this disease. However, it is increasing in incidence among adolescents. Please take a few moments and review this site for more information on Pertussis and the booster vaccine now being offered.

Chicken Pox

Chicken pox is caused by the varicella zoster virus. People who get the virus develop a rash of spots that look like blisters all over their bodies. The blisters are small and sit on an area of red skin that can be anywhere from the size of a pencil eraser to the size of a dime.

The illness may begin with a runny nose and cough.However 1 to 2 days later, the rash begins, often in bunches of spots on the chest and face. From there it can spread out quickly over the entire body. The rash is itchy. At first the rash looks like pinkish dots that quickly develop a small blister on top (a blister is a bump on your skin that fills up with fluid). After about 24 to 48 hours, the fluid in the blisters gets cloudy and the blisters begin to crust over. The blisters come in waves, so after some begin to crust over, new spots many appear. Usually by the seventh day, the spots begin to disappear. It can take 10-14 days for all the blisters to be scabbed over, and then you are no longer contagious.Chicken pox is very contagious. You are the most contagious 1 to 2 days before the rash appears. Chicken pox is spread when a person coughs or sneezes and you breathe in the droplets, or you get them on your hands.

Tricks to help with the itching:

1. Soak in a lukewarm bath, oatmeal bath solutions help relieve the itching

2. Trim your fingernails so you don’t tear your skin

3. Calamine lotion can soothe the itching also.

Today most children get a vaccine for chicken pox called Varicella. However, it is possible to get the chicken pox even with the vaccine. Please contact your health care provider to see if they recommend your child receiving a booster shot of the Varicella.

It isn’t just a little rash
Measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children.
Measles symptoms typically include:
 High fever (may spike to more than 104° F)
 Cough
 Runny nose
 Red, watery eyes
 Rash breaks out 3-5 days after symptoms begin
Measles Can Be Serious
About 1 out of 4 people who get measles will be hospitalized.
1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling due to infection (encephalitis), which may lead to brain damage.
1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care.
Healthy Eating
Healthy eating means providing your children with a variety of foods from the USDA’s food pyramid. This includes milk and milk products, fruits and vegetables, grains, meat and beans, and health fats.


Parents are the most important influence on their child’s daily food and activity choices. Some healthy messages to give your child are to eat a healthy breakfast every morning. Use soda as an occasional treat and offer milk or water at meals. Try to share one meal a week as a family. Incorporate exercise into your daily life, for example, walking the dog, riding your bike, climbing stairs instead of riding an escalator. Help your child understand that there is no “good” or “bad” food; all foods can be a part of a healthy eating plan.

Parents also need understand that since children grow at different rates and at different times there are ranges of healthy weights, sizes and shapes for children. Using a growth chart your pediatrician will be able to assess your child’s age and growth patterns to tell if her or she is in a growth spurt or has a real weight problem. Diets that severely restrict food choices, calories and/or fat are not recommended for children. For growing children it is safer to maintain their current weight while they grow in height.

Some tips for packing a healthy lunch are:

1. choose lean meats

2. limit cheese on sandwiches or use low fat or fat-free varieties

3. include one serving of fruit

4. use vegetables- pack slices of peppers or cucumbers, pack a salad

5. use whole grain bread instead of white

6. limits snack foods and baked treats

7. choose 1% or fat-free milk

8. use 100% fruit juice, no juice drinks



Poison ivy is a common plant found in most parts of the United States. It can be found in two forms. One form grows low to the ground and looks like a weed. Another form is a “hairy” vine that grows up a tree. Both types have a stem with 3 leaves. An old saying is “Leaves of three, let it be” This is because most people are allergic to poison ivy.

The poison ivy plant contains an oil called urushiol. This oil “bonds” to the skin when it comes in contact with it. If you are allergic to urushiol and you get it on your skin, you will develop an itch, red rash. You can get the oil on your skin by

1. Touching the poison ivy plant

2. Touching any clothing, including shoes, that has come in contact with the plant.

3. Touching any tools or objects that may have the oil on them.

4. Touching any pets that have been around poison ivy and have gotten the oil on their hair.

5. Burning the poison ivy plant. The oil from the plant is carried in the air.

If the oil should get on your skin within 1-2 days an itchy skin rash will develop. The rash looks like curved lines of red, itchy bumps or blisters. The rash will usually clear on its own in 14-21 days. Using hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, or Benadry might help the itching. If the rash is severe it is best to have it checked by your healthcare provider.



Poison Ivy rash is contagious

Rubbing the rash will not spread the poison ivy to other parts of your body. You spread the rash only if urushiol oil has been left on your hands. You can not catch poison ivy from another person

Breaking the blisters releases urushiol oil that can spread

Not true. Your wounds can become infected and you may make the scarring worse.

You can catch poison ivy simply by being near the plants

Direct contact is needed to release urushiol oil. However, burning the leaves or lawnmowers can cause the oil to become airborne.

For more information and pictures check out this link: