Keeping Kids Healthy All Year Long

October 27, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Simple steps can help keep kids healthy

Recent reports of measles cases in California are a good reminder of the importance of taking steps to stay healthy now and all year long.

Just like we do at school, encourage your child to frequently wash his or her hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid sharing food or drinks with others.  Don’t send your child to school if he or she is running a fever of 100 degrees or higher, and has one or more of the following symptoms: a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, vomiting or diarrhea, extreme fatigue, or a rash.  Verify the immunization status of your child as well as family and close contacts. (Two MMR shots show 99% effectiveness against Measles, Mumps, and Rubella.)  Watch for more information from the Fresno County Health Department about California’s recent Measles cases in local television and newspaper reports. Measles symptoms include fever (often high); cough; runny nose; red eyes; and rash (usually starting on the face and spreading down the body).

Before sending your child back to school after an illness, make sure he or she is fever-free (without the use of a fever reducer, like Tylenol) for 24 hours. Students who arrive at school with illness symptoms like those mentioned above will be sent home to recover.

Clovis Unified will continue to conduct daily sanitation of bathrooms and high contact areas such as door knobs and countertops, but the best protection against colds, flu and the recent measles outbreak are the simple steps listed above.

The health and safety of our students is very important to us in Clovis Unified.  We recognize the risks posed by contagious illnesses present in the community. Some simple steps can help kids stay healthy during cold and flu season, and to avoid more serious illnesses like Enterovirus 68. To help avoid catching and spreading illnesses parents and children should always follow basic steps to stay healthy.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Washing hands correctly is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children out of school, especially if they are running a fever.

 Early planning key to quick action in times of potential health threats

The health and safety of our students is very important to us in Clovis Unified. Concerns about recent serious health issues facing the nation might have parents and guardians wondering how Clovis Unified prepares for the possibility of community health threats.  The District’s efforts to prevent and prepare for the possibility of contagious illnesses in our community (from the common cold and/or flu to more dangerous viruses like Enterovirus 68 or Ebola) are developed in close communication with Fresno County Health Department. 

 These plans, which have been in existence for years provide for scaled responses that include everything from continuously promoting prevention methods like staying home if you have a fever/covering coughs/good hand-washing and sanitizing practices to worst case scenarios that would require schools to close for a short or long period of time.  No matter what the level of threat, good communication with parents and guardians, and strong collaboration with local health experts allow us to be well-prepared to protect the health of our Clovis Unified students. 

Recognize and reduce stress in times of anxiety

You may be feeling worried and fearful about the recent news reporting cases of Ebola occurring within the United States. Situations like this can increase levels of stress and anxiety. It is important to be educated about your sources of stress to understand some of the triggers and indications that you or your family are experiencing high levels of anxiety. There can often be rumors and misinformation about a stressful event.  Always fact-check rumors through a reliable source.  Parents and guardians should always feel comfortable fact-checking rumors about Clovis Unified with their local school or the District’s Administrative Offices.

During times of high anxiety, pay special attention to children’s needs and speak with them in a calm and supportive way about their fears. Children best receive information in “small bites”.  These “small bites” should be truthful and not cushioned with unrealistic assurances.  When providing assurances, stress that there are adults here to support and protect them if they ever feel afraid or have questions they need answered.  Early planning allows for quick action if a local health threat is identified. Parents can be confident that efforts are underway throughout the year to ensure Clovis Unified staff is well-prepared to protect the health of our students.

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Clovis Unified is working closely with Fresno County Health Department on plans to prevent the spread of contagious and sometimes serious illnesses, and to prepare for the possibility of such health threats reaching our local community.

Keep our kids healthy by encouraging frequent hand washing; covering coughs with a tissue or sleeve; not touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and avoiding close contact with those who are sick.

Clovis Unified schools are always on the alert to prevent and prepare for health threats that face our community.  Help keep kids healthy by disinfecting frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs and toys; washing hands; avoiding close contact with anyone who is sick; covering coughs; and keeping kids home from school if they are sick or running a fever.