Southeast Kansas Multi-County 
Health Departments

4 Counties, 1 Goal. Hope, Happiness & Health for Kansans.


Ask A Nurse



Alice Maffett, RN


Bourbon County
Public Health Hurse

Q: How can my child be exposed to mumps?

A: The mumps disease is caused by a virus that can be spread from person to person through the air. An infected person could talk, sing, or cough around your child and expose them to this virus.


Q: How can I protect my child from getting mumps?

A: The best way to protect your child is to have them vaccinated. The mumps shot is given after your child is 1 year old and the booster is given after your child turn 4 years old. The mumps vaccination is included in the MMR shot which covers measles, mumps and rubella diseases.


Q: What are some ways that I can provide positive discipline to my children?

A: You can provide positive discipline to your child by keeping your rules simple and specific, avoiding a power struggle, don’t offer choices, avoiding the overuse of “no”, using a warning first.


Q: How can I make my positive discipline actions more successful?

A: You will be more successful by being consistent with your rules, model desirable behavior to your children, always acknowledging your child’s feelings, and by establishing regular routines.


Q: How can I help build my child’s self-esteem?

A: Adults can help children build a strong sense of confidence by: acknowledging and encouraging children’s efforts, avoiding comparisons to siblings, friends, or peers, using positive and encouraging language, helping them recognize and appreciate their uniqueness, being a model of self-confidence through your own words, actions and attitude, and communicating unconditional love.


Q: How does my child get exposed to lead?

A: Your child can be exposed to lead from deteriorated old paint, consuming dirt/dust that has contaminated soil.


Q: Where is lead found?

A: Lead can be found on painted window sills and troughs, floors or steps, carpets, rugs and floor mats, furniture, radiators, grates, and registers, porches, soil and sandboxes, infant’s exposure can be from hand-to-mouth behavior where they consume this lead from crawling on the floor or chewing on imported metal/painted toys.


Q: How can my child be tested for lead poisoning?

A: Your child can be tested at their local health department or physician’s office. It could be a simple fingerstick blood collection or your physician will have blood drawn at their lab.


Q: What are some ways I can take to avoid lead exposure to my child?

A: Some ways to help limit your child’s lead exposure are: vacuum carpet surfaces with a HEPA vacuum, limiting paint exposure by wiping off loose paint, do not let your child chew on windowsills or other painted surfaces, limiting soil exposure by having family members remove their shoes before entering the house or using a doormat to reduce tracked in dirt/soil, practicing good hygiene by washing your child’s hands, toys, bottles, and pacifiers often, do not allow children to eat food off the floor, use cold water from faucet for drinking, cooking or making baby formula, and by running water from cold for 1 minute until temperature changes.


Q: If my child’s blood lead is above normal, what can I do to reduce the lead in their body?

A: A healthy diet can help prevent lead poisoning. Encourage your child to eat at least 3 times a day because a full stomach is less likely to absorb lead. Eat foods high in iron and protein such as: read meats, chicken and fish, leafy green vegetables, dried beans, or dried fruits. Eat foods high in vitamin C such as citrus fruits, tomatoes or broccoli. East foods high in calcium such as: milk, cheese or yogurt. Try to avoid foods high in fats and oils such as: fried foods, French fries, chips, cakes, butter, hot dogs or bacon.