The peak of the cold and flu season is upon us. To prevent widespread flu in the school, we recommend that your child stay home from school if experiencing flu or cold symptoms. At school, we monitor all illnesses during the peak season and work closely with administration and the local health department to monitor the exposure. 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 cough
- Mild sore throat (no fever, no known exposure to strep)
- Mild stomach ache
Definitely keep your child at home for treatment and observation if he or she has any of these symptoms:
- Fever (greater than 100 degrees by mouth and your child may return to school only after his or her temperature has been consistently below 100 degrees, by mouth, for a minimum of 24 hours)
- Vomiting (even once)
- General malaise or feelings of fatigue, discomfort, weakness or muscle aches
- Frequent congested (wet) or croupy cough
- Lots of nasal congestion with frequent blowing of nose
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.
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. A child who has started antibiotics needs to be on the medication for 48 hours before considered non-contagious and 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 on return to school. Keeping a sick child at home will minimize the spread of infections and viruses in the classroom. Custodians at DPS work diligently to keep the schools clean and to prevent the spread of germs. A disinfectant cleaner is used on hard surface areas throughout the school district.
Thank you in advance for helping make this year at school as healthy as possible.
Sherry Hafer RN