From the School Nurse

Dear Parents, My name is Mary Pat Blanchette.  My husband and I have children in all the environments! We have been at RMS since our oldest was in the primary classroom; he now is part of Erkinder.

I have joined the team here at RMS and will be working with the community as the school nurse. I have been a nurse for 15 years, mostly spent working at Prince William Hospital in Manassas Va. I worked on the orthopedic/oncology floor for 13 years where my specialty was with patients coming to the floor from the recovery room after having orthopedic or spinal surgery.

After 13 wonderful years, I hung up my stethoscope a few years ago in anticipation of baby number 6. I am excited to be back again using my nursing skills to help the RMS community.

One of the first things on my list to help keep our children healthy and fully engaged at school is germ awareness. You may hear your children tell you about a little germ presentation; yes, there will be costumes involved!

Part of our presentation to the environments will be the basics of how to stay healthy this school year. We will be talking of 5 basic steps.

  1. Hand washing
  2. Hydration
  3. Healthy choice eating
  4. Sleep
  5. Exercise

Hand washing is so important; I cannot emphasize that enough. Good hand washing means warm water, soap, 20-30 seconds, front of the hand, back of the hands fingers/thumbs and nails, then thoroughly dry. It's so very basic but at times can be a lifesaver.

We all need to be well hydrated. Water is the best but hot tea with lemon and local honey during the change of seasons is a wonderful addition.

What do our plates look like? Heavy on the veggies and fruits or heavy on the carbohydrates and candies? Healthy eating gives our bodies the ability to fight germs.

Sleep is key for children (and adults too.) We are all busy with meetings and sports and life but it's so very important for all of us to get the much needed rest. Saying "no" to one more show, activity, etc. to help your children get their rest will give them much needed energy for school and fighting sickness.

Exercise - a little cardio to get the heart pumping is a natural immunity booster. We've been having jump rope contests at our house!

If we all try to be aware of the 5 steps this school year, I think we'll be on the road to a healthier year!

Thanks so much,

Mary Pat