Extra Precautions Necessary to Prevent the Flu

It is that time of year when we are seeing more kids out sick with colds and flu. Because we have several students who have compromised immune systems, it's important to notify the school secretary if your child contracts the flu (or any other contagious illness).  Remember, students must be fever-free without medication for a full 24 hours before they return to school.  Please call the school if your child is diagnosed with the flu or any other contagious illness.  This will help us keep all of our students and staff safe and healthy.

 

The most effective way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine, but here are some other things we can do together to decrease the spread of colds and flu in our schools and at home. 

 

  • Wash your hands often. Viruses commonly spread when healthy people touch their eyes, nose, or mouth after touching a surface that sick people have touched.  Washing hands removes viruses from hands, which keeps them from entering our bodies.  Remember to wash hands at least 3 times during the day, especially before eating.  Effective hand washing involves using soap and rubbing vigorously long enough to sing the entire "ABC" song.  Thoroughly drying hands is just as important as washing them, so always dry completely.
  • Stay home if you are sick.  People who have the flu are contagious one day before symptoms appear and up to five days after.  It is best to minimize exposure to people during this time to keep from infecting others.  If a family member is sick, try to avoid close contact, and regularly clean and disinfect surfaces in the home.  Remember you must keep sick children home and remember that students with a fever, a temperature of 100.4° F and above, must be fever-free without medication for 24 hours prior to returning to school. 
  • Cover your nose and mouth during coughing or sneezing.  Using a tissue followed by hand washing is best. If no tissues are available, use your inner arm (near elbow) then wash hands and clothes as soon as possible.
  • Clean surfaces, door handles, and eating areas in your house regularly using scientifically-proven disinfectants.
  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, and stay hydrated.  These are simple suggestions to help keep your body’s immune system in shape to fight illnesses.  Drink lots and lots of water (Eight 8-ounce glasses/day is a good target).  Get plenty of rest.  Children need 10-12 hours of sleep every night.