Friday, August 21, 2009

Germ-Free Zone

Germ-free zone? That's one thing a school isn't. Students tend not to worry about germs. They share drinks and food. They hug. They're confined in rooms with 30 other students. It is "a perfect storm."

I just heard on The Today Show that the World Health Organization expects the number of H1N1 flu virus cases to double every 3 to 4 days for the next few months. The combination of school starting and the approach of autumn and winter adds to that "perfect storm."

There are precautions that can be taken. Everyone should was his or her hands frequently. If you are sick, stay home at least 24 hours after a fever has ended. It might be a good idea to buy a thermometer if you don't have one. Teachers may want to have hand sanitizer available in their rooms. Students who have flu symptoms at school should be isolated until they can be sent home. Of course, the best way to prevent the virus from spreading is vaccination.

If a child does have to miss school, parents should contact each of their child's teachers. In this way, the teacher knows what is going on and can better prepare. He or she may be able to provide packets of lessons or may be able to put those lessons online. Many schools have home teachers who can visit the student if he or she is out for an extended period of time. By doing these things, children can stay home, get well, and come back to school healthy without getting behind in their studies.

A good place to get more information is:

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