Winter is here and so are cold viruses and the dreaded flu. Did you know that most school age children get 8 to 12 colds per year? Sadly immunizations except the Flu vaccine don't prevent the spread of common germs that cause cold type viruses. It is always a tough call to decide if your child is too sick for daycare or school, but following these tips can be helpful:
- Diarrhea that is preventing normal activities or contains blood or mucous
- Fever above 100 degrees fahrenheit
- Mouth sores
- vomiting 2 or more times in a 24 hour time frame (unless it is not due to an illness)
- contagious skin infections treated less than 24 hours on antibiotics
- Any illness that makes a child too tired and ill for regular school routines, or an illness that makes him or her irritable, not drink or have trouble breathing
A child is ready to return to school when none of the above are bothering him or her. We usually like children to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school, but it this isn't a hard and fast rule as long as he or she can have a good day at school and none of the above criteria exist your child may be able to return to school.
How can you keep your child as healthy as possible? Firstly ensure that all of your child's immunizations are up to date and he or she receives a flu vaccine yearly as well. Ensure a healthy diet that includes fresh fruit (think vitamin C) and vegetables. Always make sure that your child knows to wash his or her hands prior to eating and after toileting as well as many other times during the day especially if outdoors, handling pets or garbage. Teach them to sing Happy Birthday as they are washing to be sure they are properly cleansing.
Kids get sick, but we can try to keep them as healthy as possible by hand washing, eating well, vaccinating and getting a good night sleep!