Coughs, colds and Flu when should I keep my child at home?
We are in the middle of the peak season for illness in school. You will have seen in the news that a number have schools in the north have had to close owing to epidemics of sickness. Sometimes known as "winter vomiting viruses" noroviruses are the most common cause of stomach bugs in the UK, affecting all ages. It is estimated that between 600,000 and one million people in the UK become infected each year. About 12 to 48 hours after becoming infected, the virus causes sudden onset of nausea followed by vomiting and diarrhoea.
The illness is not generally dangerous and most people make a full recovery in one or two days.
It is obvious that children (or adults) with norovirus or sickness and diarrhea, should keep away from school until they are free from the symptoms of illness. The current advice is to be away from school for 48 hours following the last bout of sickness. Dr Gayle Dolan from Public Health North East says:
"If you are well, continue activities as normal, but if you are unwell it is important to stay away from school or work until you are better. If you have diarrhoea or vomiting that is 48 hours after you have had symptoms and if you have flu it is until you are feeling better."
However, we do encourage children and parents to attend school if their symptoms are not serious. For example:
If you are unsure about whether to send your child to school or not please call and speak to the school office. We will always contact parents/ carers if children are unwell in school. Often low-level problems are forgotten once children begin learning and mixing with friends in class.
To help us reduce the spread of viruses we encourage everyone to wash hands thoroughly and regularly, particularly after using the toilet and before eating. Furthermore, please help us by encouraging your child to use tissues to collect germs and by ensuring clothing is cleaned regularly.
Stay healthy - Mrs Figes