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Cold & Flu Season

Colds are the most contagious during the first 48 hours.  A child who has a fever should remain at home until "fever free" for a minimum of 24 hours.  A child who has started anitbiotics needs to be on the medication for 48 hours before considered non-contagious and able to return to school.  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 them 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.
 

Influenza (Flu)

Flu is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death.

How does flu spread?
Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.  These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.  A person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own eyes, mouth or nose.
Prevention
  1. A flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
  2. Take everyday actions to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses.
  • try to avoid close contact with sick people
  • if you are sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone
  • while sick, limit contact with others
  • cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs
  1. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them

Emergency Warning Signs in Children

  • Fast breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

Emergency Warning Signs in Adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomitting

Flu Symptoms Can Include:

  • fever (it's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever)
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomitting

For more information visit:  www.cdc.gov/flu