January Germ Blog: Is Your Child Too Sick For School?

posted Jan 8, 2014, 2:58 PM by Todd Fox   [ updated Sep 23, 2016, 2:44 PM ]
January Germblog 

Welcome back! I don’t know about you, but our school district had an unusually long break. It was wonderful, but so hard to come back! Especially with so many mid-year tests looming… I hope you all are well rested and ready to go!

My break was spent with everyone in my house getting sick… BUT ME! It was a miracle. Husband got a bad cold and Baby M came down with Roseola, which brings a few days of fever followed by a few days of rash. From what I read and heard from the nurse, this disease is contagious BEFORE your child even shows symptoms. GREAT. I spent a few days apologetically calling my sisters to make sure we hadn’t infected anyone else at Christmas dinner. Baby M is my first, so I’m a little hyper-sensitive to the whole “childhood germ sharing” that bonds families. My sisters all just laughed it off, saying that each of their children has had a turn spreading something to a cousin, so we shouldn’t worry or apologize. Luckily Baby M was selfish and kept his germs to himself.

As embarrassed as I was, it got me thinking of how many diseases have gone through my classroom. One year we called “The Plagues of Egypt,” because from December to March we sent home letters warning parents of outbreaks of lice (twice), chicken pox, and Hand Foot and Mouth disease, along with our usual notes about cold and flu season.

Does your school or classroom have a guideline for parents for when to keep kids at home? This is a really hard subject because childhood diseases come in hundreds of packages with fevers, runny noses, rashes, etc. As teachers, we don’t want kids missing school unnecessarily and fall behind, but we want them home if they’re going to be “Patient Zero” for a classroom outbreak. As parents, we can’t always tell by 8 a.m. if Junior is really sick, or just worried about his Algebra test. Many schools, churches, or community centers have guidelines, but the BEST advice I’ve found is this article on Web Md.

Check out WebMD for advice when to keep your child home:

http://children.webmd.com/features/your-child-too-sick-for-school

Great advice, right? And easy to follow. Now there are those sneaky diseases like Roseola that are contagious before symptoms, but there’s not much we can do about those. Luckily most contagious and icky diseases give us lots of warning signs.

Also remember one of the best ways to stop spreading disease is to teach our students good hygiene habits with tissues, coughs, sneezes, and hand washing.  Use the Glo Germ Kit System to teach them how REAL germs are through fluorescent materials.

Good luck! And Goodbye, Germs!

Mrs. T

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