It's That Time of the Year Again…
Flu and cold season has arrived. Each year, between five and twenty percent of Americans get the flu. Children are two to three times more likely than adults to get sick with the flu, and they frequently spread the virus to others. Remember that good handwashing is the best way to prevent getting sick.
Is it a Cold or the Flu? Although the symptoms can be very similar, if you have a stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, and hacking cough, you probably have a cold. If you have a high fever, severe headache, muscle and body aches, extreme tiredness and dry cough, you probably have the flu. If you think you have the flu, see a doctor within 48 hours. There are antiviral medications that can shorten the duration of the illness and lessen the symptoms.
If your child is sick and has a fever (>100.0), keep him/her at home. If they have a fever, they should stay home for at least 24 hours after they are fever free. Teach your child to cough or sneeze into his elbow area rather than using his/her hand to cover the mouth or nose. If a hand is used to cover the mouth/nose, then you need to immediately wash your hands to prevent spreading the germs.
Here are some tips to avoid getting the flu this year:
Get a flu shot—particularly if you or your child has a chronic medical condition such as asthma or diabetes. Also, it is recommended for all children between the ages of 6 months and 18 years and their caregivers and families. The flu vaccine is
70-90 percent effective in preventing the flu. You need to get one every year, due to frequent mutations of the influenza virus. It is not too late!\
Practice healthy habits. Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Use a paper towel to turn off the water in a public restroom. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Don't share drinks, eating utensils, or cell phones with friends. Drink plenty of fluids, eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly to boost the immune system. Disinfect frequently-touched surfaces. These include phone receivers, faucets, light switches, remotes, and appliance door handles.
WHEN TO KEEP YOUR STUDENT HOME
The following is a guideline for when to keep your student home. Please help us keep all Falcon Creek students healthy by adhering to the following:
1. Temperature above 100.0°
2. Vomiting or diarrhea within the last 24 hours—the student should be able to keep food and liquid down before returning to school.
3. Sore throat in conjunction with fever, swollen glands, vomiting, body aches—this may be strep throat. Students diagnosed with strep throat can generally return to school after 24 hours on antibiotics.
4. Red eyes with a white or discolored discharge or eyelashes stuck together upon awakening—these are symptoms of conjunctivitis, which is very contagious. Consult your doctor. Students with conjunctivitis can return to school after 24 hours on antibiotic eye drops.
5. Severe cough with thick green or brown sputum, or cough associated with difficulty breathing or wheezing—consult your doctor for these symptoms.
In general, a child too ill to participate in regular school activities is not well enough to be in school.