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Davis urges parents to help in controlling flu

MADISON – Alabama and every state in the continental United States remain in the grips of a flu epidemic, according to registered nurse Bonnie Davis said.

Davis works as Health Services/School System Nurse for Madison City Schools. “Please be assured we are monitoring our schools closely trying to keep ahead of a major outbreak,” Davis said.

Some Madison schools have seen spotty occurrences of above-normal absenteeism but nothing yet that would demand extreme measures, she said.

“The best way to heal from and prevent the spread of the flu virus or other illnesses is to keep your children home if they are sick,” Davis said. “If your child has a temperature of 100 degrees F. or higher, he or she must be fever free for 24 hours (without the use of medication) before returning to school.”

Failure to follow this procedure is unhealthy for everyone in contact with the child — even bad for the sick child. “Sending your child to school while he or she is sick continues to spread the virus to others,” Davis said.

Davis suggested some precautions for children to avoid a contagious illness:

* Washing hands. — Remind your child to wash his/her hands after using the restroom, before eating and throughout the day.

* Do not place hands on the face. — Teach your child to keep his/her hands away from his/her eyes, nose and mouth. This habit helps to reduce the transmission of germs.

* Controlling sneezes. — Instruct your child to cough and sneeze into his/her elbow or shirt sleeve, instead of his/her hands.

* Stay home. — When your child is sick, keep him/her at home … even if a big test is scheduled or a project is due. A student with a fever, vomiting or having diarrhea is contagious and is infecting the other students. A child probably will not perform well on the test if he/she has a fever, has been up all night vomiting or is constantly coughing.  In addition, his/her body needs time to recover.

“Thank you for helping us stop the spread of the flu in our school system,” Davis said.

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