Dear Parents and Guardians:
As many of you are aware, there has been an increased amount of respiratory illness in Colorado, some of which may be due to the Enterovirus 68 (EV-D68) that has recently received a great deal of attention. There is still much to learn about this virus, but we want to assure you that District 12 staff will stay in contact with El Paso County Public Health for the latest information and advice on how we can help prevent the spread of EV- D68 and other respiratory illnesses in our school and community.
We are now entering into the cold and flu season, so we all need to be vigilant about practicing hand washing and other good hygiene measures, regardless of what the circulating viruses may be.
What can you do to help your student and family stay healthy?
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick (shaking hands, physical contact, sharing cups or eating utensils, etc.).
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds to help protect yourself from germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, as germs on your hands may enter through these portals.
For more information from El Paso County Public Health visit: www.elpasocountyhealth.org
If your child is having trouble breathing or you suspect your child has a respiratory illness, consult with your child’s doctor for further evaluation. If you have a child with asthma and suspect a respiratory illness, contact his or her doctor immediately for instruction and appropriate treatment.
We strive to work together with our families to create the safest and healthiest school environment every day. You can help by being a good hygiene role model for your children and by getting your family flu shots early. Thank you for joining us in this effort.
Carolena Guiral Steen, Ph.D. Assistant Superintendent for Student Services
Should My Child Go To School?
Deciding when a child is too sick to go to school can be a difficult decision for parents to make. When trying to decide, use the guidelines below to help you.
Go to School - If your child has any of the following symptoms, they should probably go to school:
- Sniffles, a runny nose and a mild cough without a fever (this could be an allergic response to dust, pollen or seasonal changes)
- Vague complaints of aches, pains or fatigue
- Single episode of diarrhea or vomiting without any other symptoms
Stay at Home - If your child has any of the following symptoms, please keep your child at home or make appropriate child care arrangements:
- APPEARANCE, BEHAVIOR - unusually tired, pale, lack of appetite, difficult to wake, confused or irritable. This is sufficient reason to exclude a child.
- EYES - thick mucus or pus draining from the eye or pink eye. (With pink eye (conjunctivitis) you may see a white or yellow discharge, matted eyelids after sleep, eye pain and/or redness.)
- FEVER - temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Remember that a child must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.
- GREENISH NOSE DISCHARGE AND/OR CHRONIC COUGH - should be seen by a health care provider. These conditions may be contagious and require treatment.
- SORE THROAT - especially with fever or swollen glands in the neck. (With Strep throat, the child may return to school after 24 hours on antibiotics.)
- DIARRHEA - three (3) or more watery stools in a 24 hour period, especially if the child acts or looks ill.
- VOMITING - vomiting two (2) or more times within the past 24 hours.
- RASH - body rash, especially with fever or itching. Heat rashes and allergic reactions are not contagious.
- EAR INFECTIONS WITHOUT FEVER - do not need to be excluded, but the child needs to get medical treatment and follow-up. Untreated ear infections can cause permanent hearing loss.
- LICE, SCABIES - children may not return to school until they have been treated and are free of lice and nits (eggs).
- CHICKEN POX - children must stay at home for five (5) days after the onset of blisters, or until all pox are scabbed over and dry.
IF YOUR CHILD SHOWS ANY OF THE ABOVE SYMPTOMS AT SCHOOL, IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO PICK HIM/HER UP FROM SCHOOL.
* Bringing a child to school with any of the above symptoms puts other children and staff at risk of getting sick.
* If all parents keep their sick children at home, we will have stronger, healthier and happier children.
* While we regret any inconvenience this may cause, in the long run this means fewer lost work days and less illness for parents.