Dear Parents/Guardians:
Cold and flu season is here. The NM Department of Health is reporting influenza activity throughout the United States and New Mexico. Flu symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, and/or muscle aches.
Preventive actions can help stop the spread of Germs. Make sure your child:

  1. Gets at least 8-10 hours of sleep
  2. Eat regular healthy meals
  3. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Flu vaccine is still available at our local Department of Health. Please call 528-5001 for appointment.
  4. Talk with your child about washing hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
  5. Reinforce the importance of covering nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  6. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

Deciding when to keep your child home from school is not always easy. When a child is truly sick, the best place for them is at home in the care of an adult. This will allow them the necessary time to get well and prevent the spread of the illness to others. The CDC recommends you ask these three questions:
WHEN SHOULD YOUR CHILD STAY AT HOME?

1. Does your child have a fever? Fevers are generally a sign of illness, so children should stay home from school.

2. Is your child well enough to engage in class? If ill kids seem too run down to get much out of school, keep them home.

3. Do you think your child has a contagious illness, such as the flu or pinkeye? If so, keep them at home until they are no longer infectious.

Fever-Keep your children home if their temperature is 100° F or higher. Wait until children are fever-free for 24 hours, without medication, before letting them return to school.

Diarrhea-Keep children home until stools are formed and your doctor gives the okay. Make sure your sick child stays well hydrated.

Vomiting- Keep children home if they have vomited twice or more in the last 24 hours. They can return to school after symptoms clear up or your doctor says they are no longer contagious.

Severe cough and cold symptoms should keep kids home from school. A serious cough could be a sign of contagious conditions like whooping cough, viral bronchitis, or croup. It can also be a sign of asthma or allergies.

Sore throats-If your child has been diagnosed with strep throat, keep your child at home for at least 24 hours after starting antibiotics. If your child has a mild cold, it is okay to go to school.

Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is contagious, and children should stay home from school for the first 24 hours after treatment begins. Symptoms of pinkeye include eye redness, irritation, swelling, and pus.

Mild cold or respiratory symptoms are no reason to keep children at home so long as their nasal drainage is clear and their cough is mild.

-LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren, pdahlgren@lcps.net, (575) 527-5808