Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall is the public information director of the Henry/Stark Health Departments.
Blog: Surviving flu season
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By Henry Health
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Rae-Ann Tucker-Marshall
Henry-Stark Health Department
Dec. 23, 2013 10 a.m.

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments realize that onset of cold
and flu season, many parents have concerns about infection control and
properly judging the severity of their children's flu symptoms.
If your child is sick? If your child is 5 years or older and otherwise
healthy and gets "flu-like" symptoms, including a mild fever and/or cough,
consult your doctor as needed and make sure your child gets plenty of rest
and drinks enough fluids.
If your child is younger than 5, or of any age and has a medical
condition like asthma, diabetes, neurological problems, or heart problems
and develops flu-like symptoms, including a fever and/or cough, call your
doctor or get medical attention. This is because younger children and
children who have chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk of
serious complications from influenza infection.
What if my child seems very sick? Even children who have always been
healthy before or had the flu before can get a severe case of flu. Call or
take your child to a doctor right away if your child of any age has:
* Fast breathing or trouble breathing
* Bluish or gray skin color
* Not drinking enough fluids
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* Not waking up or not interacting
* Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
* Has other conditions (like heart or lung disease, diabetes, or asthma) and
develops flu-like symptoms, including a fever and/or cough.
Can my child go to school or day care if he or she is sick? No, your
child should stay home to rest and to avoid giving the flu to other
When can my child go back to school after having the flu? Keep your
child home from school or day care for at least 24 hours after their fever
is gone. (Their fever should be gone without them having taken a
fever-reducing medicine.) A fever is defined as 100 degrees Fahrenheit or
37.8 degrees Celsius.
In addition the nursing staff of the Health Department offers the
following tips as a means to prevent illness:
* Wash hands or use alcohol hand solutions after being in public or around
anyone with a cold or the flu.
* When coughing or sneezing, turn and cough or sneeze into a disposable
tissue; dispose promptly. If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into
the inside of your elbow.
* Don't take young children or those with immune system problems into large
crowds unnecessarily when the flu is in your community.
* Avoid close contact (holding, kissing) between infants and anyone who has
a cold or the flu.
* Stay home from work or school if you have the flu (fever, muscle aches,
* Do not share things that go into the mouth - drinking cups, straws, etc..
* Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces (door knobs, refrigerator
handle, phone, water faucets) if someone in your house has a cold or the
* Do not smoke around children.
Seasonal flu shots/mist for adults and children, 6 months and older, are
still available through the Department while supplies last. Walkins are
welcome. For more information on the flu call the Department at (309)
852-5272 Main Office or (309) 792-4011 Colona Office or visit our website at
www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County
Health Departments.

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