In an effort to help keep our school community healthy during cold and flu season, the district wants to share some reminders, as well as helpful information from the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some district schools are experiencing higher than normal absences due to stomach bugs, strep throat, the common cold and flu.
These illnesses can spread from person to person and are more readily spread in group settings, such as schools. Infants and young children are at greater risk.
Here are some simple things your children can do to prevent getting these illnesses, as recommended by the NYS Department of Health:
- Get a flu shot (children 6 months and older, as well as their parents and family members)
- Stay away from people who are sick
- Wash your hands often
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue if available, or upper sleeve or elbow
- Stay home if you’re sick
According to the CDC, “Flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone.”
Flu is generally worse than the common cold, and symptoms can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness). Colds are usually milder than flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. A stomach bug can include fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
If you are unsure about whether or not to send your child to school, please contact your school’s Health Office or your family physician.
- The Flu: A Guide for Parents (NYS Department of Health)
- Flu Preventive Steps (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Strep Throat: All You Need to Know (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- HealthMap Vaccine Finder