The Florida Department of Health has provided specific guidance for parents (see letter here) as influenza or flu is now widespread across our state. Symptoms of the flu often include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, or fatigue. The single best way to protect against seasonal flu and its potential severe complications is for children to get a seasonal influenza vaccine each year. Antiviral medication for flu has been shown to reduce severity and length of disease, and decrease the risk of complications from influenza. Making healthy choices at school and at home can help prevent the flu and keep it from spreading to others. Children, parents, and staff should take the following everyday preventive actions (see here):
Stay home when you are sick and keep your child with flu symptoms home from school. Children must not return to school for at least 24 hours after their symptoms have disappeared.
Contact your health care provider if you or your child are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. Cover your sneezes or coughs with tissue or your elbow and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school.
For more information, please visit http://cdc.gov/flu/parents/index.htm