Healthy Kids = Happy Students: Tips for cold and flu season

The nurses with the Natrona County School District are beginning to see some cases of Influenza A throughout the school district. Here are some steps to help you and your family stay healthy during flu season:

Get a Flu Shot!! The number one way to prevent against getting the flu is to get a flu shot. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Family Physicians, all recommend that everyone over age 6 months, receive an annual flu shot. Children aged 6 months through 8 years of age, may need two doses (separated by at least 4 weeks) Check with your doctor. People aged 9 or older will only need 1 dose.

Wash Your Hands!! This probably sounds rather simple but washing your hands frequently can help prevent the flu. Wash your hands after using the restroom, prior to eating or handling food, and after you have been in contact with many people, such as Christmas shopping. Hand sanitizers will do, but good old soap and water is truly the best.

Get Plenty of Sleep!! This time of year can be crazy and people are not getting the rest they need. Sleep is your body’s way of rejuvenating itself . Without adequate sleep, your immune system can’t function to it’s capacity and therefore, you are much more likely to get sick. Adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Children, however, may need up to 11 hours of sleep.

Stay Home if You Are Sick! People who stay home when they are sick can help others from getting the flu.

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 NCSD school nurse Wendy Wilson offers Quick Tips!

  •  Teach children to cough or sneeze into the elbow
  • Practice good hand washing
  • Throw tissues away after first use; do not keep them in a pocket or backpack
    Wash hands immediately after use
  •  Avoid sharing utensils or direct contact with those who are sick

Here are some things to consider when deciding to keep your student home from school or not:

  • Does the child have a fever of 100F or above?
  • Is the child vomiting or have diarrhea?
  • Does the student have an undiagnosed or unidentified rash?
  • Does the student require more care or attention for their illness than staff can give him/her without affecting the health and safety of other children?

If you think you or a family member have the flu, call your doctor. Antiviral medications can be given within the first 48-72 hours of your symptoms and will help to decrease the length of the illness.

*The flu shot is not a required school immunization*

 
 

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