Keeping a sick child home from school or daycare is always important to help control the spread of viruses; but for many parents, taking time off from work is difficult. How can parents tell if their child is ill enough to stay home? How can they balance their work responsibilities with the care their child needs?
Having an ill child at home can be challenging. By planning ahead, parents can arrange to make child care easier for everyone. Parents can contact others in the neighborhood or parents from their children’s classroom to make prior arrangements for ill children. For example, parents can stagger their time off from work by arranging for several children to go to one parent’s home one day, and someone else’s the next. If you have several ill children in one home, it’s a good idea to keep them in separate rooms if possible. This will help stop the spread of any additional viruses circulating among the kids.
How do you know if a child is ill enough to stay home from school? The symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired. Some people with novel influenza A (H1N1) may vomit or have diarrhea. Children with these symptoms should stay home, and should not return to school or daycare until they have been fever-free (without the use of fever-reducing medication) for 24 hours. For more information on caring for an ill person in your home, visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance_homecare.htm.
The Center for Disease Control now recommends that everyone age 6 months of age and older get vaccinated against the flu every year.
Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care will continue to offer flu shots every Wednesday afternoon during their regular immunization clinics. The Community and Home Care Immunization Clinic is located on the upper level of Veterans Memorial Hospital.
Immunization clinics are held from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of the month, and from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. all other Wednesdays. The flu vaccine will be available each Wednesday during the normal immunization clinic hours. Flu vaccine, pneumonia vaccine, and a combination of flu and pneumonia vaccine will all be available. Tetanus shots will be offered as well.
Billing for Medicare will be completed by the Community and Home Care staff, but participants will need to bring their physician’s name and their Medicare number with them.
For more information, please call Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care at 568-5660.