Nurse's Corner » Nurse's Corner

Nurse's Corner

School Nurse: Paula O’Hara, RN, MEd, CSN

Email: [email protected]

Attendance Line / Nurse Phone: 908-709-6246

Fax: 908-709-6724


At Brookside Place School we are focused on being a caring, healthy community of students, staff and families. Please check here often for ideas and important information designed to keep our BPS community healthy. The Nurse's Corner will also feature monthly health and safety updates (see below). 


If you have a student to report absent, please call 908-709-6246 or email [email protected]


To report a positive COVID 19 case please use the following form: COVID-19 Reporting Form

Be well, 

Nurse O’Hara


October: A Month for Children’s Health

National Child Health: Monday, October 3

Walk Your Child to School Day: Wednesday, October 5 (Observed at BPS on October 12)

World Mental Health Day: Monday, October 10

Bus Safety Awareness October 17 - 21

Child Health Day, celebrated on the first Monday of October each year, was enacted in 1928.  Its purpose is to increase awareness of the care and guidance children need to grow strong and healthy. It promotes good choices in wellness screenings, nutrition, fitness and mental health.

Periodic physical exams are an important part of a child’s wellness. It is recommended by the New Jersey Department of Health that children have a complete physical exam at least once during preadolescence (Grades 4 - 6) and during adolescence (Grades 7 - 12). Since many immunizations were missed during the early months of the COVID-19 Pandemic, ensure that your children are up to date on their immunizations. To prevent tooth decay, periodic dental examinations are recommended every six months by the American Dental Association. 

National Walk Your Child to School Day, recognized in Cranford this year on October 12, is a chance to encourage fitness by walking to school. While walking is beneficial to overall health and wellness, it is also good for the environment because it reduces car emissions. Take time to talk with your students about safe pedestrian practices and highlight the safest route to and from school. The following link provides tips on safety while walking to school:

For those students who take a bus during their day, this link provides bus safety tips:  


Mental health, like physical health, should be given care and attention. The past two years have shown how important mental health can be. According to CDC data (Leeb, R.T., et all., Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol 69, No. 45, 2020), from March 2020 to October 2020, mental health–related emergency department visits increased 24% for children ages 5 to 11 and 31% for those ages 12 to 17 compared with 2019 emergency department visits. In 2019, pre-pandemic, the CDC reported that only 20% of children who suffered mental health issues actually received treatment.   

It is important to be aware of changes in your child. Changes in their sleeping, eating, activity patterns, a loss of interest in things they normally enjoy or new or excessive fears may be signs of anxiety or depression. Speak with their doctor if you have any concerns. Also, each Cranford School has a counselor who is available to assist you and share resources.  

The CDC has some helpful information, as well, at these links:

National Sleep Awareness Week is September 18 - 24

A good night’s rest is important  for everyone but it is even more important for children. According to Dr. Rachel Dawkins with Johns Hopkins All Children Hospital, sleep is an essential and indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that kids who regularly receive an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity and even depression.

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is important. The routine should ideally start at the same time every night. At least an hour before bedtime, start to “wind down” the household. The routine could include dimming lights, stopping the use of electronics/screens at least an hour before bed (you may consider removing all devices from your child’s bedroom), taking a warm bath, doing a quiet family activity such as reading a short book. Encourage older kids and teens to establish their own routine that allows for the full hours of sleep needed.  

How much sleep do children need?

Infants (4 - 12 months) 12 - 16 hours

Toddlers (1 - 2 years) 11 - 14 hours

Children (3 - 5 years) 10 - 13 hours

School age children (6 - 12 years) 9 - 12 hours

Teenagers (13 - 18 years) 8 - 10 hours

For more information about sleep, visit:         

Healthy Sleep Tips       

8 Healthy sleep habits | MD Anderson Cancer Center       

Healthy Sleep Habits for Older Children and Teens