How to Help Your Family Avoid the Flu

Nia Hendricks
Nothing can disrupt your weekly routine quite like the flu can. Here are some things you can do to help your family make it through flu season unscathed.
 

Much to every parent and teacher’s dismay, this year’s flu season has been particularly bad—the Center for Disease Control categorized it as “widespread” in 49 states, the largest outbreak in 13 years. While the thought of a houseful of sick children is enough to send any parent into a panic, it’s not too late to take preventive measures.

Watch for the Signs

Influenza, commonly referred to as the “flu”, is much worse than just a cold. The flu is “an extremely contagious respiratory illness”  caused by different strains of the influenza virus. Typically, symptoms start two days after contraction, so it’s best to be extra cautious if there is an outbreak in your school or community. Lookout for the following symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough and/or sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (more common for infected children)

Most schools have a clinic. Calvary Christian Academy has two full-time nurses available to care for children and help diagnose them. Encourage your child to share with their teacher or with the clinic nurse if they’re feeling under the weather.

Prevent the Spread of Germs

The flu is very contagious. So it’s important to stop the virus from spreading. Here are some things you can do to stop it in its tracks:
  • Remind your child to wash their hands with soap frequently throughout the school day.
  • Instruct your child to cough/sneeze into their elbow.
  • Sanitize surfaces that are frequently handled by multiple people, i.e. phones, remotes, door knobs.
  • If a child is sick at home and has siblings, separate their toothbrush from the rest of the pack.
  • Wash sheets, bedding, and laundry more frequently.
Check out this video for more ways to prevent spreading the flu at home.

Know When to Stay Home

It’s important that children (and adults!) who are sick don’t bring their sickness with them to school. Your child will recover more quickly if they rest, and it is also dangerous to expose other children and teachers. If your child is exhibiting severe symptoms or is a high-risk patient (i.e. has asthma), it is best to bring them to doctor for treatments as soon as possible.
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