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Making flu season easier for school-aged families

BEECH GROVE, Ind. (WISH) — Flu season, perhaps, wreaks havoc on nobody more than school-aged families. You know how it goes; one kid gets it and before you know it, the whole school has it. Experts have recommendations to make this season more tolerable. 

Registered nurse Brandee Beikman is helping a student who feels under the weather at Central Elementary in Beech Grove. Beikman takes his temperatures, no fever and hopefully that means no flu. But at what point should you keep your child home from school? 

Beikman, who is the the health care coordinator for Beech Grove City Schools, recommends keeping kids home if their temperature is more than 100 degrees. But that’s not her only recommendation.

“We ask parents to keep their children home if they’re looking not well. If they’re not acting themselves, even if they don’t have a fever,” said Beikman.

Beikman added that a fever not only means one is contagious but it’s also the best indicator of the flu.

“There are other indicators such as vomiting and runny nose, cough, things like that. But a fever is definitely a definitive indicator,” she said. 

The problem is, Beikman said, sometimes you are contagious before showing signs. That’s why at Beech Grove, they’re trying their best to prevent it.  

“We are very diligent about teaching our children good hand hygiene, not to share pencils, not to share straws, candy, drinks, things like that. Because that is a big way of spreading the flu and anything else,” said Beikman. 

Since there is no way of really preventing the spread of flu at your child’s school completely, your best defense is keeping your child protected. Things you can do to prevent the spread of the flu:

  • Have your child vaccinated
  • Teach your child proper hand washing
  • Keep your child home for a full 24 hours after their fever breaks, when they are sick
  • Take them to the doctor for a medical diagnosis

“Going a long period of time without a diagnosis can make the child more ill and cause more people to be exposed,” said Beikman. 

Beikman also recommends that parents inform their child’s school if their child has been diagnosed with the flu.

She added that hand sanitizer does not take the place of proper hand washing, however it serves as a good backup plan