Ah-Choo – Oh No, Swine Flu!

Well, I have been reading about it for months.  I have been waiting for the H1N1 epidemic to hit my school since last May.  I have to say that so far we have been passed over by the Swine flu epidemic.  We have had a few cases, but no mass hysteria (yet).

But not at the Sherman house!  My 15 year old daughter has been diagnosed with the flu, and the doctor says it must be the swine variety, because that is the only one out there right now (the normal Type A flu is not out yet, he says).

This not good news.  Not for my daughter, not for the others in the family, and not for me, a germaphobic dad.  (And maybe not for the dog – did you hear that  a cat caught the flu from its owner?)

But, it I feel obligated to share with the readers of this blog (all six of you) that at home we are following all the same rules I have clearly established at my school.

We will NOT send the child to school until she is fever free for 24 hours straight.  If all goes as planned, that will be some time tomorrow (Monday) around noon .  Of course, we will not send her to school after lunch. We will send her on Tuesday, assuming the fever continues to be history.

I am glad that the my daughter is feeling better.  She was pretty miserable for three days.  Thanks, Tamiflu!

We often see kids returning to school too early after being out sick, and I wonder if parents really understand the importance of keeping children home when they are not well.  I have posted the following guidelines (see below in blue) on my school blog.  I hope parents will follow them.  That is one of the best ways to keep others from getting sick.  Washing hands works, too.  And sneezing and coughing into our elbows is another way.

Well, time to take a bath in a tub full of Purell.

When Do I Keep My Child Home From School?

As a parent of a school-aged child, have you ever had occasion to ask yourself, “Is my child sick enough to stay home, or should I send him to school?”  Often, this can be a difficult decision.  Hopefully, the following guidelines will be helpful, at least until you have been able to reach your doctor for his or her opinion.

Sad Check your child’s temperature.  If it is over 99.6 degrees, then she should stay home.  Your child should not return until she is fever-free for 24 hours.
Sad A child with a “hacking” cough and/or yellow-green nasal drainage should stay home.  This is often an indication of an infection.
Sad A child with an earache and/or drainage from the ear should not be in school.
Sad If your child complains of a sore throat and has no other symptoms, he may go to school.  If white spots are seen in the back of the throat, then please keep him home.
Sad If your child has a rash, keep her home until the doctor says it is safe for her to return.
Sad If your child has been vomiting or has diarrhea, keep him home for 24 hours after the stomach issues have settled.
Sad If your child has a case of head lice, either live bugs or their eggs (nits) the child should not return until all the lice and nits are gone.

Please let us know at school if the doctor diagnoses any contagious diseases or any other health problems which may affect your child’s learning or which may affect other children’s health.  Remember, you would want another parent to keep their sick child home as much as they want you to keep your sick child home.

Thank you, and feel free to call the school office any time you have a question related to your child’s health and school.

(Picture Credit: http://www.hoosieragtoday.com/wire/comments/00026_swine_160527.php)

2 thoughts on “Ah-Choo – Oh No, Swine Flu!

  1. Sorry to hear you home has been inflicted but it is a releif to know that your daughters healthy imune system pulled her through the incident WITHOUT lining up for a flu shot. I dont want to sound insensensitive but how bad were the symptoms and how long did it last?

  2. Well, the symptoms were that of a relatively mild case of the flu because we got her into the doctor very early and we got her on the Tamiflu meds so quickly. She was running a low grade fever (hovering around 100 degree F.), she had a bad headache, she has been congested, and she has had a bad cough. I think if we had waited another day or two before getting into the doctor, the symptoms quickly would have gotten much worse.

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