Flu season is in full swing, and with it comes runny noses, fevers and sore throats. But for many school-aged children, it also means missing out on school and possibly falling behind.
To learn more about keeping children healthy and in school and off the couch, the Town Crier reached out to Monica Sidher, R.N., Los Altos School District nurse and health supervisor. Sidher offered the following tips for staying in top shape, as well as for knowing when it’s time to keep a child home from school.
• Wash your hands. According to Sidher, washing your hands is the “basic universal precaution.” She suggested reinforcing good handwashing behavior with your children by having them sing a song like “Happy Birthday” to know when they’re done. Also, don’t forget to get that soapy, warm water in between your fingers.
• Watch out for any types of symptoms that may be contagious. Sidher said a child with a runny nose is OK to send to school as long as the mucus is not green. Vomiting, diarrhea and fever are all signs that you should keep your child home.
“We have a policy here in our district that if your child has a fever, they have to be fever-free for 24 hours before they can come back to school,” she said.
• Get your immunizations. Not only are your usual vaccinations like the chicken pox vaccine important to keep up to date, Sidher said, but your children also should be getting their flu shot.
• Use your judgment. It’s up to parents’ discretion whether to send their children to school if they’re on the borderline. Symptoms like nausea – without vomiting – should be monitored to determine whether they feel well enough to attend school.
“If it is really disruptive to the class or they can’t really concentrate in class, that’s when we recommend the child call home,” Sidher said.
For more information on the district’s tips for staying healthy and when to keep your child home, visit lasdschools.org and under the “Parents & Community” tab, click “Health Services.”