Injury & Illness Banner

Student Health and Wellness is available to treat students for a variety of injury and illness conditions that require prompt medical evaluation. To schedule an appointment call 860-486-4700 option 1; option 1 or you can self schedule online at Our 24/7 nurse advice line is also available to assist you at 860-486-4700 option 1; option 2.

Common Injuries

Ankle Injury

What is Ankle Sprain?

An ankle sprain occurs when the ankle joint turns too far in a specific direction. This causes one or more of the ligaments to overstretch or in some cases even tear. Ligaments are tough, flexible bands of connective tissue inside the ankle that hold the bones together.



  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain with movement and weight bearing



The best way to remember  the treatment for an ankle injury, is by the mnemonic “RICE.”  These letters stand for the following:

Rest: It is important to stay off your feet, minimize use, and rest your ankle.

Ice: You can apply a cold gel pack, a bag of frozen vegetables, or a bag of ice to the ankle. Ice for 15 minutes, every 1-2 hours as able.

Compression: This means applying pressure to your ankle. You can do this by using an elastic bandage or compression sleeve. Your medical provider or nurse can show you how to wrap your ankle. It is important not to restrict blood flow.

Elevation: Keep your foot raised above the level of your heart by using pillows while laying down.

NSAID’s: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can reduce pain and swelling.

Do not take on an empty stomach and use according to package instruction.


When to seek medical help

  • You cannot put weight on your ankle
  • Your ankle looks deformed or feels unstable
  • Numbness and tingling of your foot

Head Injury & Concussions

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a mild brain injury that can cause headache, confusion, and memory loss. A concussion can happen after an injury to the head from being hit or falling.

Symptoms May Include:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or trouble with balance
  • Being bothered by noise or light
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleep disruption
  • Mood or behavior changes
  • Memory loss

It may be recommended to have someone with you for the first 12-24 hours after injury to monitor for worsening symptoms. It is not necessary to be awakened overnight. Individuals with a concussion will recover more rapidly if they are allowed to sleep.

How is a concussion treated?

Most concussions do not require treatment and symptoms resolve on their own, but it can take time. Symptoms can go away within minutes to hours after the injury or may last for weeks. Most people fully recover after 10 to 14 days. Most concussions do not require brain imaging. To help your brain recover:

  • Rest your body: Get plenty of sleep and avoid strenuous exercise or too much physical activity if it worsens your symptoms.
  • Rest your brain: Avoid activities that need focused attention and concentration if it worsens your symptoms.
  • Limit screen time: yes, that includes your smart phone.
  • Avoid environments with loud noise and bright lights.
  • Do not drink alcohol until your symptoms resolve.
  • Avoid a second injury: a second head injury while you are still recovering from a concussion can result in serious complications.



Treat headache symptoms with over the counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Use per package instructions.


Seek medical care immediately for the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting more than three times
  • A severe headache or a headache that gets worse
  • Seizure or seizure like activity
  • Difficulty walking or talking
  • Vision changes
  • Numbness or weakness
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Excessive drowsiness, inability to be awakened
  • Drainage of blood or fluids from ears or nose

Common Illnesses


What is bronchitis? Bronchitis is a viral infection of the large airways of the lungs. This irritates the airways and can result in a cough that may last for several weeks.  It can also exacerbate the symptoms of asthma.Symptoms
  • Cough that can last up to several weeks
  • Stuffy nose, sore throat, and/or headache
  • Productive cough – mucus may be clear, yellow, or green (Green mucus does not always mean you have a bacterial infection)
  • Wheezing and chest tightness



Treatment is supportive care and antibiotics are not routinely indicated. Bronchitis generally goes away on its own (self-limited). To treat the symptoms:

  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids; warm beverages may be additionally soothing
  • Avoid irritants, such as smoking, vaping, or juuling
  • Breathing warm, moist air
  • Use cough drops or hard candy
  • Over-the-counter cough and cold medications may be used according to package instructions


When to seek medical help

  • Fever greater than 100.4 F
  • Chest pain, difficulty breathing, or coughing up blood
  • A uncontrolled, barking cough that makes it difficult to speak
  • No improvement in symptoms after 2-3 weeks or worsening symptoms


A fever is a symptom which is defined as an oral temperature above 100.4°F

What is the Best Way to Take Your Oral Temperature?

  • Wait at least 30 minutes after you eat or drink anything hot or cold
  • Place the thermometer under your tongue toward the back
  • Keep your lips closed around the thermometer

What Can Cause a Fever?

  • Viral infections, such as the common cold and the flu
  • Bacterial infections, such as strep throat

Seek Medical Help Immediately If:

  • Recent hospital admission, or surgery/medical procedures
  • If taking medications that affect the immune symptoms such as steroids, organ transplant rejection medications, etc.
  • A fever that lasts for several days or keeps returning
  • Recent insect bite, such as a tick
  • Chronic Medical conditions such as: pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, chemotherapy, lupus, autoimmune disorders or sickle cell anemia
  • If fever, plus, any of the following: rash, severe headache or neck pain, trouble breathing, seizure, confusion, vomiting or diarrhea, severe abdominal or back pain, or other unusual symptoms

Treatment for Fever:

  • Rest
  • Increase fluids
  • (Acetaminophen) or
  • (Ibuprofen) as needed

Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease

What is hand, foot, and mouth disease?

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause sores in the mouth, on the hands, feet, buttocks, and sometimes on other areas of the body including the face and genitalia. It is possible to get sores in only some of these areas.



These sores can look like small red bumps or blisters and can be painful or itchy. The illness can last for 7-10 days and is spread via saliva, nasal secretions, fluid from sores with blisters, and stool.

  • Fever
  • Sores in the mouth, hands, feet, buttocks, face, genitalia, and other areas of the body
  • Pain
  • Itching



This viral infection resolves on its own. Treatment is focused on relieving symptoms such as fever, pain, and itching. To feel better, you can treat the symptoms:

  • Over-the-counter pain-relieving medicine for fever and pain (acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen).
  • Over-the-counter anti-itching medication.


When to seek medical help

  • Persistent sores
  • Severe headaches, stiff neck, and fever present after 10 days.

Influenza (Flu)

What is Influenza (Flu)

Influenza, or flu, is a respiratory infection that is caused by the influenza virus. It is usually has an abrupt onset and lasts for 7 to 10 days. The best way to prevent influenza is by getting vaccinated every flu season, and practicing good hand hygiene.


  • Fever up to 100.4° F and/or chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Severe fatigue
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion and sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea


Influenza is not treated with antibiotics, but anti-viral medication may be used. Treatment is focused on symptom relief.

  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids; warm beverages may be additionally soothing
  • Avoid irritants, such as smoking, vaping or juuling
  • Over-the-counter fever and pain relievers: Acetaminophen (Tylenol®), Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), or Naproxen (Aleve®).  Avoid Aspirin, a rare serious disorder called Reye’s Syndrome is associated with the use of aspirin during flu, especially for people under 18.
  • Decongestants and over-the-counter cough suppressant.
  • Prescription anti-viral medications may decrease the severity of flu symptoms, but must be started within 48 hours of the onset of illness

When to seek medical help

  • High fever that does not respond to fever reducing medication
  • Difficulty breathing, chest pain, and/or severe abdominal pain
  • If you have an underlying chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, or are immunocompromised
  • Persistent vomiting/diarrhea

Nausea, Vomiting & Diarrhea

For Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea:

  • Also known as gastroenteritis
  • Inflammation and irritation of the stomach and intestines
  • Caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, medications, alcohol, tobacco, stress

When to seek medical help

  • Severe abdominal pain lasting more than 4 hours
  • Severe headache or stiff neck
  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Persistent dizziness or confusion
  • Fever over 101°F for more than 24 hours (38.3°C)
  • Unable to tolerate sips of fluids for more than 8 hours
  • Not urinating for more than 8 hours
  • Worsening symptoms or no improvement after 48 hours
  • You have diabetes or have other chronic medical conditions

Food handlers and child care employees need to be symptom free for 48 hours and require medical clearance to return to work.


Diet Instructions for Vomiting & Diarrhea

Avoid eating and drinking for two hours after the last episode of vomiting.


First 24 hours


  • Ice chips
  • Clear soups, broth
  • Jell-O
  • Popsicles
  • Flat Soda, ginger ale, cola
  • Sports drinks
  • Bouillon
  • Weak Tea

Next 24 – 48 hours


  • Chicken noodle/rice soup
  • Cooked, mild vegetables
  • Applesauce/bananas
  • Eggs (not fried)
  • Potatoes (baked or mashed)
  • Ready-to-eat cereal (no milk)
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Cooked cereal
  • Toast with jelly
  • Canned pears/peaches
  • Plain pasta
  • Rice
  • Saltines
  • Pretzels


  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Spicy Foods
  • Salads and raw vegetables
  • Whole grain breads and bran cereals
  • Milk/milk products
  • Fried foods
  • Strong flavored vegetables

Pink Eye

What is “Pink Eye” (conjunctivitis)?

“Pink Eye” or Conjunctivitis may be caused by a virus, a bacterial infection or allergies. Eye symptoms may include the following:

  • Pink or redness of the eye(s)
  • Tearing or “goopy” crusted discharge, with the eyelids getting “stuck” together
  • Itchiness or burning sensation


How to Take Care of Yourself with Pink Eye

  • If you wear contact lenses, stop wearing them until the symptoms have resolved or you are told it is OK to use them again. If your contacts are disposable, throw them away and start with a fresh pair of lenses
  • Warm compresses may be used for 10-15 minutes about 3-4 times daily to speed healing and decrease redness
  • Discard eye make up that was used while you had pink eye
  • Avoid touching the face or eyes; and wash hands frequently. Avoid sharing towels and other personal items
  • Clean eye area using a dilute mixture of warm water and baby shampoo


Seek Medical Help Immediately If:

  • Any sharp or severe eye pain
  • Any facial rashes or vesicles that look like blisters around the eyes
  • Any visual changes
  • Any known eye trauma or injury; or sensation of a foreign body in the eye
  • Any increased sensitivity to light
  • Any symptoms that persist without improvement for more than 48 hours