How to keep Swine Flu home from school.
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
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:
- Educating parents about when to keep their children home.
- Having an isolation room in the school where febrile kids can stay while waiting to be picked up.
- Encourage proper and frequent hand washing in school.
- Teaching children to cover their coughs and sneezes.
- Making sure students receive both the seasonal influenza vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine.
- 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
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.
|Dr. Alanna Levine is a pediatrician in private practice and on staff at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, where she attends high risk deliveries and cares for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She is a national spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and frequently appears on television as a medical expert. Dr. Levine lives in New York with her husband and their two children.|