Freezing temperatures and weeks of rain? Where did fall go?! With mother nature thrusting us into the winter season more quickly than we would like, we thought it would be a great time to remind all of our PVMA parents how they can stay updated on illnesses this winter as we approach cold and flu season.

1. Stay consistent at home

The first key to cold and flu season is… prevention! In the classroom your teachers are doing everything they can to prevent illnesses from occurring or spreading. This includes sanitizing the classroom multiple times a day, ensuring anything that ends up in a child’s mouth is cleaned before others can play with it and helping to teach proper hygiene habits. At home, you can help by ensuring your child washes their hands after using the bathroom, practices using a tissue to blow their nose, and covers their mouth when coughing or sneezing. When we all work together we can do our part to keep illness at bay.

2. Understand the rules

When something does sneak through the cracks, it is important to understand when to keep your child home from school. If, in a 24 hour period, your child has two episodes of throwing up, three episodes of diarrhea, an unidentified rash, a fever of over 100 degrees or has been diagnosed with a contagious illness, they need to stay home from school. We understand that it can be difficult to re-arrange work schedules, but it is important for your child needs to rest and everyone else will thank you for keeping that illness at home! Your child may return to school 24 hours AFTER the symptoms disappear. In the case of an unidentified rash, your child may come to school if you receive a signed doctors note explaining that the rash is identified and is not contagious.

If your child comes back to school too quickly and is still showing symptoms, we are required by the state to send them home and the other children at school will now be exposed to an illness that could spread through the classroom.

3. Keep your teacher informed

If your child is diagnosed with a contagious illness, such as strep, the flu, hand/foot/mouth, etc… please let your teacher know as soon as possible so they can make the appropriate updates. The teacher will post an update on the board outside the classroom door and will send an e-mail to all parents in the class. Your child will remain anonymous throughout the whole process, but the updates will assist all parents in identifying if their child is sick as soon as symptoms appear.

4. Check the boards

The board at the front doors will stay updated with all illnesses that are reported in the school and will include information on the illness, which room it was in and when it was reported. Outside each classroom, the boards will stay updated with a notice about any illnesses that have been reported in that specific classroom.

5. Keep an eye on your e-mail

New this year, your teachers will be e-mailing all parents in the class with updates about which illnesses have been reported in their classroom throughout the week. Once again, your child will never be named in these updates, kids get sick all the time and that is okay! But it will assist other parents in watching for symptoms or recognizing if the sniffles they thought was just a cold may be something else. 

It takes a village to raise children, and winter time in Minnesota is a particularly important time to look out for your village. Bring on the vitamin C!

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