As I am sure you are all aware, we are in cold and flu season. We have had a number of parents report that their children have experienced a fever, cough, sore throat, headache, chills, muscle aches, fatigue and runny nose; which are typical symptoms of influenza. In an effort to decrease the spread of illness in our school, especially Influenza (the flu), I am asking that you strictly adhere to our guidelines for keeping children home when ill. I do understand how challenging that can be, and of course we want our students here, but our first priority is to keep all students safe and healthy.
Any child with a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater should be kept home until free of fever without the use of medication, such as Ibuprofen and/or Tylenol. If your child has vomiting and/or diarrhea they should also remain at home until symptom free for 24 hours.
In the event that your child has Influenza (the flu), or "flu-like symptoms", then the guidelines are slightly different. We adhere to the guidelines set forth by the NH Department of Health and Human Services. Children should remain home until not only fever free, without the use of medication, but also symptom free for 24 hours. This piece is very important due to the nature of the flu being a virus spread through droplets in the air. Children can be contagious 1 day prior to showing symptoms and then for 5-7 days after. Despite our best efforts to have children "cover" their coughs, this can be a difficult skill for kids, especially in the lower grades, therefore resulting in the spread of illness.
It is my hope that working together we can prevent the spread of illness in our school and keep our children as healthy as possible. We will continue to encourage hand washing frequently throughout the day. Our staff are excellent at reminding children to cover their coughs and sneezes. We will be doing what we can to disinfect surfaces and we have hand sanitizer readily available to all students and staff.
Here is a parent guide to the flu from the US Dept of Health and Human Services, to help answer questions and give some insights. Thank you for your careful attention to this matter. I encourage you to contact our School Nurse, Lori Kilbreth, with any questions and/or concerns via phone or email.