As we get deeper into winter, coughs go deeper into chests, sniffles settle in for the long haul, and the dreaded flu threatens. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there have been almost 9,000 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations across the nation between Oct. 1, 2017 and Jan. 13, 2018. And flu season hasn’t even hit its peak yet.
Although there are no large-scale flu vaccination clinics planned in town (there were several earlier in the season), the Wellesley Health Department has the vaccine available. Anyone wishing to obtain a flu shot should call the Health Department at 781-235-0135 to arrange an appointment.
The Wellesley Public Schools Department of Nursing Services says, “We are beginning to see an increase in illness as we move deeper into the winter months. While there is no need for alarm, it bears reviewing some illness management guidelines for both home and school.”
We may have heard it all many times, but the following illness management guidelines offer essential information:
All family members should get a flu shot – it is NOT too late.
Children should remain home if they have a fever (100 F or above), vomiting, diarrhea or unable to manage profuse nasal drainage.
Hands should be washed often with soap and water, especially after coughing and sneezing.
Reinforce good respiratory etiquette – cover your nose and mouth when coughing/sneezing – practice with your children.
When notifying the school that your child is ill, please give a reason/symptoms – this helps us to identify patterns and focus on specific classrooms for more aggressive monitoring and parent notification if needed.
Students can return to school if they are fever free without medication and have been on antibiotic therapy (if indicated) for twenty-four hours, are feeling well, eating, drinking and back to their regular routine.
Students should get at least 8 – 10 hours of rest each night.
Dress for the cold weather – this means students should be wearing coats to and from school.
Speak to your school nurse if you have questions specific to your child.
School Nurses are tracking and trending illness in each school.
Custodians are cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
Hand washing and cough etiquette is being reviewed and reinforced.