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Back to School with Swine Flu

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How to keep Swine Flu home from school.

schools and swine flu

With schools starting to open across the county, parents are left wondering if Influenza H1N1 (frequently called Swine Flu) is going to make a come back and spread through schools.

Using information gained from the H1N1 outbreak in the Spring of 2009, government officials and school administrators are making preparations to ensure safety for our children.

There are two main changes in the recommendations for the upcoming school year. The first involves the length of time children must stay home after they develop flu like symptoms. In the spring, the guideline was seven days from diagnosis, but we now realize that typically the H1N1 flu lasts 2 - 4 days, and that staying home until a child is fever-free (without the use of fever reducers) for 24 hours is sufficient.

This will enable kids to return to learning and parents to return to work sooner. The second change relates to school closures. Many schools across the country were closed due to H1N1 in the spring and this didn't help control the spread. In the fall, the goal is to keep schools open, but make them safer for kids. This can be achieved by:

  1. Educating parents about when to keep their children home.
  2. Having an isolation room in the school where febrile kids can stay while waiting to be picked up.
  3. Encourage proper and frequent hand washing in school.
  4. Teaching children to cover their coughs and sneezes.
  5. Making sure students receive both the seasonal influenza vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine.
How can parents be prepared? When your child becomes sick, it is often hard to make it out to the store to buy supplies. Stock your home with a Back to School Swine Flu Survival Kit. It should include:

  •  A working thermometer
  • Fever reducers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen containing compounds
  • A humidifier to help relieve congestion
  • Hydrating fluids
  • Soap and hand sanitizers in all rooms of the house
  • A supply of tissues
  • If there are newborns or ill persons in the house, have masks for the child with influenza to wear when in the room with other family members.

next: Stick It To Your Kids This Fall
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous August 17, 2009, 11:17 AM

there still will be parents who send their kids sick because they can’t afford to be off work.

Kids Games August 17, 2009, 1:40 PM

These are good tips for any type of child’s cold or flu. Kids are naturally going to catch and carry germs. Parents should be wary, but shouldn’t first jump to radical swine flu conclusions.

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Jeremiah Menesez February 11, 2011, 4:34 AM

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