H1N1 – Swine Flu/Seasonal Flu
Lake County Schools and Department of Health
Personal Hygiene- What can families of students and school personnel do to help prevent the spread of the flu?
µ Families, students and school staff can help prevent the spread of the flu in three ways:
Ø Practicing good hand hygiene. Students and staff members should wash their hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.
Ø Practicing respiratory etiquette. The main way that the flu spreads is from person to person in the droplets produced by coughs and sneezes, so it’s important to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands and then wash hands.
Ø Staying home if you’re sick. Students and staff are to stay home when they are sick and return to school (work) when they are fever free for 24 hours without medicines.
Students, staff, and their families take personal responsibility for helping to slow the spread of the flu virus by practicing the above steps to help guard against getting sick with the flu and to help protect others from getting the flu.
þ Hand-washing/Sanitizer Guidelines– Regarding students and staff use of sanitizer:
Ø Students are to be encouraged to wash with soap and water for 20 seconds frequently throughout the school day.
Ø Students that carry sanitizer to school in their backpacks or bags will be permitted to carry and use it during the school day.
Ø Sanitizers brought to school by staff or students must be fragrance FREE and have 60-90% alcohol.
Ø Hand sanitizer should be moist on hands for the duration of at least 5 seconds.
Ø If use of hand sanitizer becomes disruptive in class, teachers may use appropriate classroom management strategies to maintain order.
Ø Teachers are encouraged to frequently repeat and demonstrate the above instructions to their students.
þ Custodial Cleaning – Can the virus live on surfaces, such as computer keyboards and telephone handsets?
Ø Yes, flu viruses may be spread when a person touches droplets left by coughs and sneezes on hard surfaces (such as desks or door knobs) or objects (such as keyboards or pens) and then touches his or her mouth or nose. However, it is not necessary to disinfect these surfaces beyond routine cleaning.
Ø Clean surfaces and items that are more likely to have frequent hand contact with cleaning agents that are provided by the Lake County School Maintenance Department.
þ Ill Children and Staff
Ø Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of the flu may 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.
Ø Sick students or staff need to stay home for 24 hours after they no longer have fever or flu like symptoms, without using fever-reducing medicines. Children and staff staying at home with a fever will reduce the number of people who may get infected.
Ø Do not send children to school if they are sick. Any student(s) who become ill will be separated from other children until the parent/guardian is called and requested to take their child home.
Ø Staff should stay home when sick. Stay home until 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or flu like symptoms (without the use of fever-reducing medicine).
Ø Separate ill students and staff. Schools will need to ensure there is a designated room/area, away from other areas, where ill children can be separated and monitored while awaiting parent pickup.
· Elementary school students who become ill will be sent to the school clinic. Middle and High schools have a designated room to separate students who are ill. The school nurse and designated school staff will monitor children while they wait for pickup. If a child’s temperature escalates to 103.8 degrees Fahrenheit or above and parent/guardian is not available, then the school must follow guidelines for calling 911 (Emergency Medical Services).
· The number of staff monitoring children should be the smallest number possible to reduce exposure risk.
Ø When should a mask be worn? A surgical mask should be put on a child who has become ill with flu-like symptoms at school while waiting to be taken home. The person working the school “clinic” should also wear a surgical mask while caring for children ill with flu-like symptoms. It is important that the designated clinic or room where ill children are waiting should be away from main congregating areas and have limited access. Masks are only to be used for persons who are ill with flu-like symptoms and for persons providing their care. Masks are not to be used as general prevention measures for healthy children and adults. Note: Replace the mask if it becomes saturated or wet.
Ø How to dispose of a mask. Used masks can be disposed of in proper trash receptacles. Good hand washing should follow mask removal and disposal.
þ Returning to School
Ø Children and staff may return to school after they have been fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
þ School Bus
µ Driver Training:
Ø Keep an eye out for sick students and report them to the school bus monitors for further evaluation.
µ Bus Cleaning:
Ø If a bus riding student is identified on a bus with flu like symptoms the bus will be taken off the line and cleaned appropriately.
þ Medically Fragile Students or Staff
Ø If student/staff have asthma, diabetes, pulmonary problems or other conditions that put them at higher risk for complications that could result from the flu; parents will be notified, and they may want to keep their child home or to speak to their health provider regarding appropriate precautions.
Ø Pregnant women are at higher risk of complications from flu and should speak with their doctor as soon as possible if they develop a flu-like illness. Pregnant women working in or attending schools should follow the same guidance as the general public about staying home when sick, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and routine cleaning.
Ø All school attendance will be monitored on a daily basis.
Ø When evidence of multiple illnesses is identified normal school procedures for students returning to school will be followed.
Ø Schools will not promote programs that encourage students to come to school when they are ill.
þ Academic Work During Absence
Ø Students absent with flu will not be academically penalized.
Ø Ample time will be given to students to make up class work missed.
Ø Efforts will be made to provide class work at home to students experiencing extended illness.
þ Parent Communication
FL Department of Health Resources www.myflusafety.com
Toll free Flu Information Line 1-877-352-3581