Health Office


For upcoming Kindergarteners, please read the following letter concerning "Sick Children"

Sick child letter


The Flu Seasonal Influenza 2012–2013

What is the flu?

The influenza (flu) virus causes serious illness that may result in hospitalization or death. It mostly affects the breathing system, but may also affect the whole body. The flu season usually starts in the fall and ends in the spring. Talk with your doctor about getting vaccinated at the start of the season (late summer/early fall) so that you are protected year-round.

People can get the flu more than once per year and many times in their lives. Influenza viruses are unpredictable. They are always changing over time and from year to year. Three seasonal flu viruses are expected to make children sick again this flu season.

SIGNS OF THE FLU 
  • A sudden fever (usually above 101°F or 38.3°C
  • Chills and body shakes 
  • Headache, body aches, and being a lot more tired than usual 
  • Sore throat 
  • Dry, hacking cough 
  • Stuffy, runny nose
Some children may throw up (vomit) and have loose stools (diarrhea). Talk with your child's doctor if your child has ear pain, a cough that won't go away, or a fever that won't go away. There can be serious complications, even death, from the flu, but these are uncommon.

HOW TO PREVENT THE FLU

  •  Get the flu vaccine every year.  Safe vaccines are made each year to protect against the flu. This year's flu vaccine protects against 1 strain from last year and 2 new strains.
  • Everyone should get the flu vaccine each year to update their protection because:
  • Protection from the flu vaccine lasts for about 6 to 12 months.
  • The virus strains in the vaccine often change, like they did this year, so your protection usually needs updating.
  • You or your children will not get the flu from the vaccine. It takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to start working, so people can catch the flu before they are protected.
  • Keep flu germs from spreading
  • The flu virus spreads easily through the air with coughing and sneezing, and through touching things like doorknobs or toys and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Here are some tips that will help protect your family from getting sick:

    • Everyone should wash their hands often. You can use soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. That is about as long as singing the "Happy Birthday" song 2 times. And an alcohol-based hand cleanser or sanitizer works well too. Put enough on your hands to make them all wet, then rub them together until dry. 
    • Teach your child to cover his mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. 
    • Show your child how to cough into the elbow or upper sleeve (not a hand) or use a tissue. 
    • Throw all tissues used for runny noses and sneezes in the trash right away. 
    • Wash dishes and utensils in hot, soapy water or the dishwasher. 
    • Don't let children share pacifiers, cups, spoons, forks, washcloths, or towels without washing. Never share toothbrushes. 
    • Teach your child to try not to touch her eyes, nose, or mouth. 
    • Wash doorknobs, toilet handles, countertops, and even toys. Use a disinfectant wipe or a cloth with soap and hot water. (A disinfectant is a cleaner that kills germs.) 
    • Keep your child home from school when he/she is ill and do not have your child return to school until fever free for at least 24 hours.
Nurse Autumn Beaulac