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Health Tips

Stay home if you or your child is sick until at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine). Keeping sick students at home means that they keep their viruses to themselves rather than sharing them with others. Stay home even if taking antiviral medications.

Cover coughs and sneezes. Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often and especially after coughing or sneezing. Keep sick household members in a separate room (a sick room) in the house as much as possible to limit contact with household members who are not sick. Consider designating a single person as the main caregiver for the sick person.

Monitor the health of the sick child and any other household members by checking for fever and other symptoms of flu. A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are not able to measure a temperature, the sick person might have a fever if he or she feels warm, has a flushed appearance, or is sweating or shivering. Watch for emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention. These warning signs include:

Check with your doctor about any special care needed for household members who may be at higher risk for complications from flu. This includes children under the age of 5 years, pregnant women, people of any age who have chronic medical conditions (such at asthma, diabetes, or heart disease) and people age 65 years and older.

Have the sick household member wear a facemask- if available and tolerable- when sharing common spaces with other household members to help prevent spreading the virus to others. This is especially important if other household members are at high risk for complications from flu.

Ask your doctor about antiviral medicines or fever-reducing medicines for sick household members. Do not give aspirin to children or teenagers: it can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye's syndrome. Make sure sick household members get plenty of rest and drink clear fluids (such as water, broth, gatorade, or pedialyte) to keep from being dehydrated.