Flu Season - A Letter from our School Nurse

August 29, 2014 11:52 AM

Dear Mid Pacific Ohana:

As we welcome everyone to another school year, I want to take this opportunity to address the health of our community. The cold/flu season is officially in full swing. We have had cases of confirmed influenza A already. Though it is not uncommon to have influenza so early in the year, it usually isn't type A as in this case. To ensure the best possible health in our school community as we enter the cold and flu season, I do want to review a few policies.

If your child develops a fever (for school purposes fever is 100.0 F/37.8 oral) or you think your child might have a fever, please keep them home until the fever has been gone for 24 hours with no medications. That means, if your child has a fever in the morning, they should remain home at least until the following morning. If they have a fever at night and they wake up in the morning with no fever, they still need to stay home to be sure they are well for 24 hours. We know that it is stressful for you as a parent and your child as a student to miss school, and we know that fever can last a long time, but it is imperative that this 24-hour period be observed to assure that your child is healthy and ready to return to school. The teachers and deans will support your child if they require a prolonged absence due to flu or other fever related illness. They will work with your child when they are healthy again and ready to return to school. There is no reason to return them to school before they are fever free.

School can be an efficient incubator of illness. Keeping a virus out of our environment is important to the health of our entire school and extended community. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Hawaii Department of Health also recommend the flu shot as the best way to prevent flu. The flu season can go well into May so getting protection now can help to have a flu free school year. Hand washing, tissues and coughing into elbows in addition to eating, and resting well are other ways to help prevent illness. Please visit the attached CDC link for more information and healthy tips. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/

In addition, if the school nurse calls and says your child has a fever and needs to be picked up, please come within the hour to take your child home. This is for the comfort of your child as well as to limit the time of exposure to other children and staff.

We hope that this semester is a healthy and happy one but we all need to work together to make that happen.

Thank you,

Lory Gaskill, RN,MN

Middle and High School Nurse

Mid-Pacific Institute