The seasonal influenza season is here. When dealing with the flu or even the common cold, the most important thing that parents/caregivers and school staff can do to protect themselves and our children is prevention.
Here are six good habits experts recommend to prevent any viral illness:
1) Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2) Stay home when you are sick. Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
3) Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Use a tissue or cough in your elbow to prevent those around you from getting sick.
4) Clean your hands. Washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds will help protect you and others from germs.
5) Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their face.
6) Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Also, disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as toys, doorknobs, and light switches, especially when someone is sick.
If your children/student have cold or flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue, please keep them home. They are still contagious if they have these symptoms.
To prepare for flu or any viral illness during the school year, the CDC encourages parents/guardians to do the following:
1) Update emergency contact lists at school to be sure it is accurate in case your student needs to go home.
2) Identify a separate room in the house for the care of the sick family member. Consider designating a single person as the main caregiver for anyone who gets sick.
3) Pull together games, books, DVDs and other items to keep your family entertained while at home.
4) Get your family vaccinated for the seasonal flu.
Here are several websites that are available to you for information and for daily viewing and updates: