Prevent the Spread of Illness
Henry-Senachwine Community Unit District 5
December 9, 2019
We have begun to see an increase in student illness in the past one to two weeks. Most of the illnesses are respiratory infections with fevers; some students have also had vomiting and diarrhea along with this. Students are in close contact with one another at school so sometimes illness is unavoidable. If parents keep their children home at the first signs of an illness, it will help us prevent the spread of illness to other children in the classroom.
There are several things you can do at home to help prevent illness and keep everyone healthy. Here are some tips to remember:
WASH, WASH, WASH YOUR HANDS! This is still the BEST defense against illness. Encourage your children to wash their hands for 20 seconds using soap and warm water.
Talk to your child about coughing and sneezing into their elbow, and encourage them to do this.
Be sure your child gets plenty of rest every night and encourage a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables.
Take your child for their flu vaccine.
A child who is sick will not be able to perform well in school and is likely to spread the illness to other students and staff. We suggest making a plan for childcare ahead of time so you will not be caught without a comforting place for your child to stay if he/she is ill.
We follow the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines for when to keep your child home from school:
- FEVER – A temperature of 100 or over is a sure sign to keep your child home. The child must be 24 hours fever free without fever-reducing medication before returning to school. Giving a fever reducer and sending them to school will almost guarantee a call from school when the medicine wears off, as well as exposing other students to your child’s illness.
- Vomiting in the past 24 hours
- Diarrhea in the past 24 hours
- Any rash accompanied by fever
- Ear pain
- Eye drainage
- Sore throat with fever and/or rash
- Bad cold with a very runny nose or frequent cough, especially if it has kept the child awake at night.
- Appearance/Behavior – unusually tired, pale lack of appetite, irritable. This is sufficient reason to keep a child home and see how they do and consult with his/her medical provider.
Please call if you have questions or would like to discuss your child’s illness. These guidelines are meant to serve the best interests of all children in our schools. Thank you. Angie Smith