HELP KEEP YOUR CHILD HEALTHY AND FLU-FREE
TIPS FROM THE SCHOOL NURSE: HELP KEEP YOUR CHILD HEALTHY AND FLU-FREE
With flu season upon us, it is important that we work together to keep our students and each other healthy. Viruses spread easily among children in schools, and families with school-age children have a higher risk of infection than others. On average one-third of these family members get sick each year. Working to keep our children flu-free, we benefit our entire community. The flu is caused by a virus, therefore it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Only the flu shot can help prevent the illness. Children over the age of 6 months and up can receive the flu shot so check with your doctor.
You can help prevent the spread of the flu or help your child get better if he/she does become sick by following a few simple steps:
- If possible, you and your child should get your flu shot.
- Teach your child to cover their nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or use hand sanitizer if water is not available.
- Disinfect frequently-touched or shared items often.
- Teach your child to not touch their eyes, nose, and mouth.
- If your child is sick and has a fever, keep them home until 24 hours fever-free to prevent the spread of illness to others.
Is it a COLD or the FLU? (From Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
Symptoms Cold Flu
Fever Rare in adults and older usually 102 F, but can go up to
children, but can be as 104 F and lasts 3-4 days
high as 102 F in infants
and small children
Headache Rare sudden onset and may be severe
Muscle aches Mild usual, and often severe
Weakness Mild often extreme and can last 2 or
Runny nose Often sometimes
Sneezing Often sometimes
Sore throat Often sometimes
Cough Often often
Diarrhea Rarely sometimes in young children
If you are concerned about your child’s flu symptoms, call your doctor early. Always call your doctor immediately if your child has a chronic disease such as diabetes or moderate to severe asthma. Some that are ill may benefit from an antiviral medication which can be prescribed by a doctor and can help lessen the duration and severity of the flu. To be effective, antiviral medicines should be taken within 12-48 hours after flu symptoms begin.
If you have any questions call your doctor or school nurse.