With the arrival of cold and flu season and with an increase in influenza-like illness reports, the DuPage County Health Department is recommending increased awareness and actions to help control and prevent the spread of influenza (flu), toward keeping our students and community safe and healthy.
To prevent widespread flu in the school, we recommend that your child stay home from school if experiencing flu-like illness symptoms (such as fever, cough, and sore throat). Since influenza is primarily spread by direct contact with nose and throat secretions, there are measures we can all take to reduce our chances of becoming sick with influenza and other similar infections:
Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of the flu include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater), cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired. For medical questions or concerns, contact your physician.
Your child should stay home if he/she is sick until at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications). This will help reduce the number of people who may get infected.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after use and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve, not your hand.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Do not share eating utensils or drinking containers. Persons should not share straws, cups, glasses, water bottles used during sports or recreation, etc.
Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Get your child and family vaccinated against seasonal flu. Vaccination is recommended yearly for everyone 6 months and older.
Flu Shots - Information from the DuPage County Health Department
Do all Children Really Need to Get a Flu Vaccination?
All children should be vaccinated, whether that means getting a shot or using the nasal spray. You may think that the flu is just annoying, but, in fact, it can be deadly. It's a common question parents ask themselves this time of year: Does my child really need a flu shot? Though the flu may seem harmless, the truth on average 20,000 children age 5 and younger are hospitalized due to flu symptoms each year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly half of the children who died last year from the flu had no risk factors. Influenza is a highly contagious virus. As cold weather begins to set in and with people spending more time indoors in confined spaces, the chances of contracting the flu increases. Schools and day-care centers are perfect environments for the flu to spread.
The best way to protect kids from the flu and its potentially deadly symptoms is a flu vaccination.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that every child 6 months or older get a flu shot.
All adults should receive a yearly flu vaccine as well.
I can hear it coming, 'but the flu shot gave me the flu.' This is impossible. You cannot get the flu from a flu shot because the flu shot is made from an inactivated virus. It is possible to experience some mild side effects, but if you've ever had the flu you will know the side effects are nothing compared to the real illness. People who have had the flu in the past take the least convincing to get a shot because they never want to have it again.