Dear Parent or Guardian:
The peak of the cold and flu season is upon us. To prevent widespread flu in the school, we recommend monitoring your child if he/she is experiencing flu or cold symptoms. To decide whether to send your child to school, please consider the following guidelines:
Consider keeping your child at home for an extra day of rest and observation if he or she has any of the following symptoms:
- Stuff or runny nose and/or cough
- Mild sore throat (no fever, no known exposure to strep)
- Mild stomach ache
Keep your child at home for treatment and observation if he or she has any of these symptoms:
- Fever (greater than 100 degrees by mount and your child may return to school only after his or her temperature has been consistently below 100 degrees, by mouth, for a minimum of 24 hours)
- Vomiting (even once), Diarrhea, Chills
- General malaise or feelings of fatigue, discomfort, weakness or muscle aches
- Frequent congested (wet) or croupy cough
- Lots of nasal congestion with frequent blowing of nose
To help prevent the flu and other colds practice with your child(ren) good hygiene habits such as washing hands frequently and covering mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
Colds are the most contagious during the first 48 hours. A child who has a fever should remain at home until “fever free” for a minimum of 24 hours. A child who has started antibiotics should remain on the medication for 48 hours before considered non-contagious and able to return to school. Keeping a sick child at home will minimize the spread of infections and viruses in the classroom.
As a parent, there is nothing more important than safeguarding your child’s health. Know the facts about these diseases and the vaccines available to protect your child.
Meningococcal Disease and Prevention
What is meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection. The most common symptoms of the disease include fever, cough, headache, and rash. It can cause meningitis (swelling of the covering of the brain and spinal cord). The disease spreads through close contact with an infected person. Teens and young adults are more likely to get meningococcal disease, especially if they live in group settings like college dorms.
How can I protect my child from meningococcal disease?
The meningococcal conjugate vaccine, or MCV4, prevents against four types of the disease. It is a 2-dose series recommended for all children between 11 and 12 years of age, and again at 16 to 18 years of age. The meningococcal B vaccine, or Men B, is recommended for some children with rare health conditions or who are at risk during a meningococcal B outbreak.
When to see a doctor?
Anyone showing signs of meningococcal infection needs to immediately see a doctor or be taken to the nearest hospital emergency department.
If meningococcal infection is suspected, samples of blood and the fluid around the spinal cord are taken and tested for the presence of meningococcus bacteria, but antibiotics will usually be started without delay, as a precaution.
Treatment for meningococcal infection
If your child has symptoms of meningococcal infection they will be treated in hospital with antibiotics. Early treatment with antibiotics is the key to saving their life and avoiding long-term disability.
Diagnosis is not always easy to make in the beginning. If your child is sent home by the doctor or hospital after some initial symptoms, but becomes worse or doesn’t improve, take them straight back to the nearest hospital emergency department.
Thank you in advance for helping make this year at school as healthy as possible.