Happy New Year! As the new year begins and we find ourselves in the middle of cold and flu season, I would like to take this opportunity to review the school’s policy regarding keeping your sick children home, as well as provide you with some resources. We need to be extra diligent to protect each other!
To help prevent the flu and other colds:
- Wash hands frequently (at least 20 seconds)
- 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.
Here are some guidelines on when to keep your student home from school:
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 (this is not an all inclusive list):
- Fever (greater than 100 degrees by mouth and your child may return to school only after his/her temperature has been consistently below 100 degrees, by mouth, for a minimum of 24 hours without the use of medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen).
- 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
Colds are the most contagious during the first 48 hours. 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.
Here are some additional resources for you:
A Flu Fact Sheet from Contra Costa Health Services:
Center For Disease Control’s Flu page:
Information about the new virus from China “Coronavirus”. This virus, which started in China, has recently been reported (2 cases) in CA, however none have been reported in our county.
If your child is experiencing an illness, please keep the office informed so we can better track what illnesses are at our school. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns; I am happily available to guide you during this cold and flu season.
Written by Gena Howarter, our school Nurse