As the weather changes, be sure to take extra steps to help prevent illnesses like the flu. Wash your hands and the hands of your children often and make sure to scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds. Be sure hands are washed after blowing noses and sneezing. You may want to wash pacifiers and toys more often in the coming months as well. Another step is to have your children vaccinated with the Influenza vaccination. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine every season. Call your pediatrician today to learn more.
If your child comes down with a fever of 101 or higher please be sure to see your pediatrician and make other arrangements for child care. Many child care programs have a sick policy. You may want to follow up with your child care and refresh your memory of this policy. Some policies include but are not limited to the following:
- A fever above 101 degrees taken orally (102 degrees taken rectally or 100 degrees taken axillary – armpit)
- Diarrhea, vomiting, or rash of unknown origin
- Cold or other illness causing breathing difficulties or other symptoms that prevent the child from participating comfortably in activities
- Positive reaction to tuberculin skin test
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
If your child has any of the following symptoms, you will need to wait 24 hours after the symptoms have subsided–without the aid of medication–before returning him or her to child care.
Take additional steps like drinking plenty of water, getting as much sleep as possible and eating a healthy diet along with the vaccination to prevent the flu. You also may want to wash down table tops, door handles, and other surfaces more often to stop the spread of germs.
Interested in reading more about playing and learning with your child in the winter? Check out these posts:
Here’s our Brighter Futures Indiana content related to winter weather:
- Cold Weather Safety for Children Birth-to-Five
- Why My Son Plays Outside Year Round — And How Your Kid Can Too
- Cold Weather Outside, Bold Learning Inside!
Cover image by Flickr user Brandon Otto, Creative Commons license.