Dear Parent or Guardian:
The start of the cold and flu season is upon us. To prevent widespread flu in the school, we recommend that your child stay home from school if experiencing flu or cold symptoms. To decide whether or not 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:
· Very stuffy or runny nose and/or a cough
· Mild sore throat (no fever, no known exposure to strep)
· Mild stomach ache.
Definitely keep your child at home for treatment and observation if he or she has any of these symptoms:
· Fever (greater than 100 degrees by mouth. 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). Keeping children with a fever at home will reduce the number of people who may get infected.
· Vomiting (even once)
· 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, teach your children good hygiene habits:
· Wash hands frequently
· Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth
· Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, use a paper tissue, throw it away and then wash hands
· Teach your children not to share personal items like drinks, food or unwashed utensils.
· Get your child vaccinated against seasonal and H1N1 influenza. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted that young people are more susceptible to flu.
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick
PMA is taking steps to control the spread of flu-like illness and to protect the health of your child. These measures include:
· Encouraging frequent and correct hand hygiene—particularly after sneezing or coughing, before and after eating, after sensory play and after going to the washroom
· Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the commonly touched surfaces throughout the school on a routine basis
· Notifying parents immediately if their child has become ill while at school or arrives to school ill and isolating the child promptly in a separate, supervised area away from others until they are picked up by the parent/guardian
· Ensuring ill children are excluded from school for the recommended length of time
· Working closely with our local public health unit and following up-to-date control measures.
Visit the website www.flufacts.com for more information about the flu. Thank you for helping keep PMA a safe environment for all the students and staff by keeping your child home if he or she experiences any flu-like symptoms.
Sister Maria Rosa, pm