Tips for Staying Healthy From Nurse Deb

Nurse Deb

Cold and flu season is upon us. To prevent widespread influenza, colds, and other illnesses in school, we recommend that your child stay home from school if experiencing flu or cold symptoms. To decide whether or not to send your child to school, please consider the following guidelines.

Consider keeping your child at home for an extra day of rest and observation if he or she has any of the following symptoms:

• Very stuffy or runny nose and/or a cough • Mild sore throat (no fever, no known exposure to strep) • Headache • Mild stomach ache

DEFINATELY keep your child at home for treatment and observation if he or she has any of these symptoms:

• Fever (greater than 100.0 degrees axillary). Your child may return to school only after his or her temperature has been consistently below 100.0 degrees axillary, for a minimum of 24 hours without fever medicine. • Diarrhea (more than one in 24 hour period) • Vomiting (two or more in 24 hour period) • Severe coughing or difficulty or rapid breathing• Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye). Unusual spots or rashes, Sore throat or difficulty swallowing.

To help prevent the flu and other colds, teach your children good hygiene habits:

• Wash hands frequently • Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth • Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, use a paper tissue, throw it away and then wash hands • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Our staff has also been working with your children on this.

Colds are the most contagious during the first 48 hours. A child who has a fever should remain at home until “fever free” for a minimum of 24 hours without taking medicine for fever. A child who has started medication (antibiotic) needs to be on it for 24 hours before considered non-contagious and must be feeling better to be able to return to school.

Often when a child awakens with vague complaints (the way colds and flu begin), it is wise to observe your child at home for an hour or two before deciding whether or not to bring to school. Your child should be physically able to participate in all school activities upon return to school. Keeping a sick child at home will help minimize the spread of infections and viruses in the classroom.

Thank you for helping to make this school year as healthy as possible.

Deb Graham, RN