Greetings from your School Nurse—Nurse Alison. I have enjoyed meeting some of you and your young Foxes already. Your children are a delight to me. I wanted to share a word about the upcoming flu and cold season (and strep) and things that we can do to keep our kids well.
(flu) is a contagious respiratory virus. Each year flu causes millions of illnesses and thousands of hospitalizations. Flu is spread mainly by droplets made when someone with flu coughs, sneezes, or talks, or by touching something that has flu virus on it and then touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.
The best way to protects against flu is to get a yearly flu vaccine for yourself and your child. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend an annual flu vaccine for all children 6 months and older.
In addition, stay away from people who are sick as much as possible. If you or your child are sick, avoid others as much as possible. Cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands often, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and clean surfaces that might be contaminated with flu viruses.
If you are concerned that your child might have the flu, talk to your doctor early. Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and fluids. If flu symptoms develop (fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills, feeling tired, and sometimes vomiting/diarrhea)…call your doctor or take your child to the doctor right away.
If your child develops a fever, keep your child home from school for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine like Tylenol or Ibuprofen). A FEVER IS DEFINED AS 100.0 OR HIGHER. Also use your judgement regarding keeping a child home with a frequent cough or who feels lethargic or irritable.
is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by Group A Strep. (However, viruses—not bacteria—cause most sore throats). Group A Strep spreads in the same way that flu does. A doctor must swab your throat to determine if you have strep throat.
People with strep throat should stay home from school until they have no fever and have taken antibiotics for at least 24 hours. Remember: strep throat usually produces a fever, but not always.
To avoid strep throat/flu and their spread, wash your hands often. Handwashing involves five steps: Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, and Dry. Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent germ spread.
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Do not drink from the same glass, or share plates or utensils with someone who is sick.
Promoting healthy behaviors in your child can also help reduce illness. Help them to make healthy food choices. Encourage them to get 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Finally, helping to ensure that they are getting 9-12 hours of sleep per day can contribute to the overall health and well-being of your child.
*All information listed here was taken directly from the Centers for Disease Control Website CDC.Gov.