While we look forward to providing our students, faculty and staff with a safe and healthy environment, all indications are that this is a challenging and serious Flu season. Parents and teachers, you especially can play an important role in limiting the spread of Influenza by making sure your students are well-educated on certain preventative measures.
If we all practice good hygiene, health officials believe we can limit the spread of the Flu in our school. Here are four of the best ways to keep sickness from spreading:
1. Wash your hands often.
Washing with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds is ideal (that’s about as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice).
2. Use hand sanitizer.
Gels, rubs, and hand wipes all work well, as long as they contain at least 60% alcohol. Hand wipes must be disposed of properly. Always read and follow label instructions when using hand sanitizer.
3. Keep your hands away from your face and avoid touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.
4. Cough into your sleeve, not your hands!
Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing into the inside of your elbow.
If you are feeling sick and think you might have the flu, here are some symptoms to watch out for:
- Fever (over 100 degrees F)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle pain
Flu spreads easily. If you suspect your student is getting the flu or any fever-related illness, it is important that he/she does not attend school or go anywhere else—such as the mall, or sporting events—where other people would be exposed to flu germs. It is also important to teach students how to reduce their risk of getting the flu and protect others from infection.
Please stay informed by paying attention to media reports. You may also find additional information at www.cdc.gov, www.nyhealth.gov,www.schoolhealthservicesny.com, or the 24 hour toll-free hotline, where New Yorkers across the State can find answers to their questions. The hotline is 1-800-808-1987.
Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our children and our school healthy.
Julie A. Gerbino, R.N., L.N.C.