January Illness Update

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Jennifer Carlson RN – Grethe Cobb RN – Nichole Collins RN – Denise Flores RN – Janet Johnson RN – Melissa McDonald RN

Dear Parent/Guardian,

This is a follow-up letter, from the previous two weeks of communication,  to keep you informed of accurate information regarding illnesses in our schools. I have been made aware of continual cases of Influenza B, Influenza like illnesses (ILI) and strep throat.  This is very consistent with what the pediatricians and physicians in our community are seeing this time of year.

As expected flu activity is high in many areas nationally, regionally, and locally and is expected to increase as we usually have a peak mid-February.  This is not unusual at this time of year to see an increase in ILI. If you or your child received the flu vaccine, it may help prevent the severity of flu symptoms if you are exposed,  but keep in mind, it is not always effective in preventing it. For more information click here for Seasonal Influenza facts from the CDC.  

If your child begins to not feel well in the morning before school, please check for a fever before sending them to school. If they have a low-grade temp less than 100 degrees, please do not give fever reducing medication and send them to school. This can mask a developing fever and they are exposing others. 

For any illness with a temperature over 100 degrees, please keep your child home until fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications.  They may return to school when symptoms have subsided and they are feeling well enough to fully participate in the day. Please do not send your child back with fever reducing medication to “get through the day”.  Your diligence in keeping sick children home from school and not participating in social events until well will help decrease the spread of illness. Thank you for your help in keeping our student population healthy!

Again, we are doing all we can at school to keep your child(ren) healthy.  When children present in the health office, I am checking all temperatures and throats for any symptoms reported.  Handwashing has been reviewed in all classes, reminder videos have been sent to all teachers to show to the children on handwashing, covering coughs with the elbow and keeping fingers out of eyes, noses, and mouths. We have stepped up the cleaning of surfaces in the classrooms and buildings. 

At home, please ensure healthy habits are practiced such as eating healthy, avoiding excess sugars and ensuring children are well rested so their immune systems can fight off illness better. Reminders to wash hands when coming home from school and after being in public can help as well.  If you have questions or would like further information, please contact me.

Jennifer Carlson, RN    carlsonj@barringtonschools.org  or 247-3170