After the excitement of the holiday season wears off, it seems everyone is left a little worn down.
And that often leaves kids vulnerable to sickness and missed school days.
Getting back into the daily grind of school after a vacation week of staying up late and sleeping in throws many kids for a loop, according to Suffield Middle School nurse Kristen Richard.
She said eating well and getting enough sleep in the weeks to come can help students fight the stomach bugs and viruses that start to creep into the schools.
Already, a number of students in the district are calling in sick.
To combat the spread of germs, the district’s nurses are emphasizing good hygiene.
Spaulding nurse Colleen Webber visits classrooms to remind the children to wash hands, sneeze into tissues or elbows and to avoid sharing.
“We have preschoolers through grade two here and they share everything,” she explained. “And we do teach them to share, and yet this time of year we tell them ‘no sharing.’”
Students who turn up in a nurses office are assessed and treated as best to nurse Richard. Some are allowed to rest before returning to class. Others are instructed to call home, especially if a fever is 100 or more.
Parents are the ultimate judge of a child, though, said the women.
“Parents know their children best,” they said.
Although it’s tempting to send children in with a dose of medicine to keep a fever down, it’s important to remember that child is still contagious. Keep kids with a fever or diarrhea home until they are well for 24 hours, said Webber.
“I wouldn’t rush a student back to school,” said Richard. “When they are here they don’t rest. They go for seven hours.”
Sometimes it simply comes down to letting your child rest, the nurses say. Although it’s important to keep up with homework and extra-curricular commitments, “it’s okay to slow down,” they said.
For more information on combatting winter-viruses and the flu go to http://www.cdc.gov