Flu Symptom Check List: The symptoms of influenza (flu) include fever, cough, sore throat, and sometimes body aches, headache, chills and feeling tired. Some people also have diarrhea and vomiting. The most important thing that you can do to keep flu from spreading in the community is to keep your sick child at home. Use the following check list to help decide if you or someone in your family may have the flu:
□ Yes □ No Does your child have a cough?
□ Yes □ No Does your child have a sore throat?
□ Yes □ No Does your child have a headache, body aches or chills?
□ Yes □ No Does your child have vomiting or diarrhea?
□ Yes □ No Does your child have a fever of 100 degrees or more?
Should I keep my child at home?
If you checked yes to fever of 100 degrees or more and cough or sore throat your child has an influenza-like illness. If you checked “yes” to only one of the questions above, or if your child is ill with other symptoms, keep your child at home at least one day to observe for other symptoms. If other symptoms develop, use the check list questions again to decide whether to continue keep the child home. Send your child back to school after he or she has been completely well for 24 hours without any medication aids.
When should my child go to the doctor?
Call your doctor or seek medical care immediately if your child has trouble breathing, has behavior changes like increased restlessness, anxiety and irritability, or isn’t drinking enough fluids. Be alert for skin rashes, dehydration or any other signs that your child is more uncomfortable than you would expect with the flu.
Preventing the Flu: Good Habits Can Help Stop Germs
1. Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2. Stay home when you are sick. Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. Keep sick children at home. You will help prevent others from catching the illness. If a child attends school with symptoms of flu they will be sent home.
3. Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw the tissue away, and wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, consider using your sleeve or inside your garment.
4. Wash your hands often. Washing your hands and the hands of your children often will help protect you from germs. Alcohol-based, hand sanitizers are also effective, students and staff may bring their own supply to school for individual use only.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
6. Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
hat can a parent do to prepare for flu during the school year?
• Plan for child care at home if your child gets sick.
• Plan to monitor the health of the sick child and any other children by checking for fever and other symptoms of flu.
• Update emergency contact lists.
• Identify a separate room in the house for care of sick family members. Consider designating a single person as the main caregiver for anyone who gets sick.
• Get your family vaccinated for seasonal flu and H1N1 flu when vaccines are available.