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How to avoid flu at school
School notes
Carol Darsey
Carol Darsey - photo by Photo provided.
With flu season upon us, it is important that we work together to keep our children healthy. Viruses spread easily among children in schools and families with school-age children have more infections than others, with an average of one-third of these family members infected each year. You can help prevent the spread of the flu virus, or help your child get better if he/she does get sick, by following a few simple steps:

  • If possible, ask your primary health care provider if you and your child should get a flu shot.
  • Remind your child to cover his/her nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, and dispose of the tissue immediately
  • Have your child wash his/her hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Disinfect frequentlylouched surfaces and shared items at least once a day.
  • Ensure that bathrooms are stocked with soap, hand towels and tissues.
  • Teach your child not to touch his/her mouth, nose and eyes.
  • If your child is sick and has a fever, keep him/her at home to prevent the spread of illness to others.  Offer fluids to prevent dehydration. Your child can return to school when he/she is symptom free and fever free for 24 hours without medication.

If your child is sent home from school with a sore throat, cough and fever, don’t be too quick to brush off your child’s illness as just another cold. The important thing to remember is that flu symptoms can vary from child to child (and they can change as the illness progresses). Most of the time. you can take care of your child by offering plenty of fluids, rest and extra comfort.  Common symptoms of the flu include fever, severe headache, muscle and body aches, exhaustion and dry cough.  Also, children often exhibit other flu symptoms that are rare in adults, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If your child exhibits flu-like symptoms, call your primary health care provider early. Call your primary health care provider immediately if your child has a chronic disease and has flu-like or unusual symptoms.
If you would like additional information about preventing and treating the flu, visit your doctor or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site at

School notes is written by different employees of the LibertyCounty School System, and appears on an education page in each Friday’s Coastal Courier. It is the opinion of the writer. Darsey is lead nurse for Liberty County schools.
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