News of H1N1 (swine) flu can be unsettling for many parents. According to health officials and pediatricians, parents should be aware and concerned, but not panicked. For now OUSD is doing everything to keep schools functioning as usual. Here are a few things parents can do to help:
- 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. Covering up their coughs or sneezes using the elbow, arm or sleeve instead of the hand when a tissue is unavailable.
- Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of the flu include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit, 37.8 degrees Celsius or greater), cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea.
- Keep sick children at home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have signs of fever, without using fever-reducing drugs. Keeping children with a fever at home will reduce the number of people who may get infected.
- Do not send children to school if they are sick. Any children who are determined to be sick while at school will be sent home.
On October 6, Alameda County did receive its initial supplies of H1N1 vaccine countywide. This live, attenuated nasal mist form of the H1N1 flu vaccine is only recommended for healthy, non-pregnant people aged 2 to 49 years.
For more information please see the OUSD website.