During the flu season, please follow these guidelines for flu prevention:
· Teach your children to wash their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
· Teach your children not to share personal items like drinks, food or unwashed utensils, and to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissues or the elbow, arm or sleeve instead of the hand, when a tissue is unavailable.
· Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms include fever (100˚F or greater), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea.
· Do not send children to school if they are sick. A child who is determined to be sick while at school will be sent home.
· Keep sick children at home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or do not have signs of fever, without using fever-reducing drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil). Keeping children with a fever at home will reduce the number of people who may get infected.
· If your child exhibits symptoms associated with influenza, such as a fever (100 ºF or higher), consult your primary care physician for evaluation. Infants, toddlers, seniors, pregnant women, and people with certain underlying health conditions are at increased risk of severe illness or complications from influenza, and should consult with their primary care physician if they develop symptoms of influenza.
· For more information on influenza, please check the HCPSS flu prevention web page and Maryland Department of Health website.