Frequently Asked Questions

Health Services Frequently Asked Questions  (4 Questions)

1.  When should I keep my child home from school with cold or flu symptoms?

If your child is exhibiting flu symptoms, keep him or her home from school. If your child has a cold, the decision to keep him or her home may depend on the severity of symptoms. Keep your child home if he or she has a fever of 100 degrees or higher. If your child returns to school with a lingering cough or nasal congestions, send him or her with tissues and advise him or her to drink extra fluids.

2.  If my child does have the flu or a bad cold, how long should I keep him or her home from school?

Parents should keep their sick children home from school until they have been without fever (temperature under 100 degrees) for 24 hours to prevent spreading illness to others.

3.  What is the difference between a cold and the flu?

Flu is a serious illness and children who have the flu should always stay home from school. Flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, or muscle aches. With the flu, symptoms come on very quickly. It is a good idea to contact the child's doctor if he or she has these symptoms.

Symptoms of a common cold include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, and hacking cough. Often, cold symptoms come on gradually. Although, the common cold is usually not serious, if symptoms are severe, it is a good idea to keep your child home to rest and get better, rather than spread the cold to other children at school.

4.  What should I do to help prevent the rest of the household from getting sick?

Teach and Practice Healthy Habits: Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for a least 20 seconds. You can help prevent the flu from spreading at home by disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces, toys and other commonly shared items.

Mind Your Manners: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing and throw away used tissues. Teach children to cough in their sleeve.

What's Mine is Mine, What's Yours is Yours: Make sure that the family does not share drinks, water bottles, or used eating utensils.

Consider Seeing Your Doctor:  If someone in your household has the flu, a prescription of an antiviral medication to other household members can actually prevent them from getting the flu. Studies show that some antiviral medications are up to 92% effective in preventing the flu when taken once daily for 7 days. Antiviral medications are especially important for those children and older adults who have chronic health conditions.

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