Welcome back – HSE Advice re: seasonal influenza

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As you will have heard over the weekend, the re-opening of schools brings with it an increased risk of the further spreading of the flu.

All Principals around the country this morning received the following re: advice from the HSE with regard to the seasonal influenza.

For full information please go to the following link HSE Advice re seasonal influenza

In the interest of health and safety for all our children, parents, staff and wider community we urge all parents to read the following:

 What should I do as a parent?
Two important actions to protect your family
1. Be aware of the symptoms of flu-like illness and know where to seek
medical care. See below.
2. Teach your children the following good health habits to help stop the
spread of germs:  Teach your children to cover their mouth and nose with a paper
tissue when coughing or sneezing. If no tissue is available they
should cough or sneeze into the inside of their elbow. Be sure to set
a good example by doing this yourself.  Teach your children to use a tissue only once and dispose of it
quickly and carefully (a dustbin is fine).  Teach your children to wash their hands frequently with soap and
water. Be sure to set a good example by doing this yourself. If they
do not have access to hand washing facilities give them alcohol
hand gel to use.
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 Teach your children to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.  Teach your children to stay at least 1 metre/3 feet away from
people who are sick.  Children who are sick should always stay home from the school. If
they have influenza they should stay away from the educational
institution for 5 days from the onset of symptoms.  Wash hard surfaces such as kitchen worktops, door handles, etc
with a normal household cleaner as the virus can live on these
surfaces. Do this frequently.
What should I do if my child gets sick?
If your child gets sick with a flu-like illness as described above you should:  Keep your child at home and away from others as much as is possible
to avoid spreading infection to others. If they are sick with flu they
should stay home for 5 days from the onset of symptoms.  Give your child simple anti-fever medication such as paracetamol or
ibuprofen (NB: aspirin should NOT be given to children under 16 years
of age) and ensure that they drink plenty of fluids.  If you think your child needs to see the GP because they have severe
symptoms, remember to ring your GP first.  If your child is in a high risk group for complications of flu contact your
GP, even if their symptoms are mild (High risk groups include people
with: chronic lung, heart, kidney, liver, or neurological disease;
immunosuppression ( i.e. weakened immune system whether caused
by disease or treatment); diabetes mellitus; people aged 65 years and
older; children less than 2 years of age; children with any condition
(e.g. spinal cord injury, seizure disorder or other neuromuscular
disorder) that can compromise lung function, especially those attending
special schools/day centres, children with Down syndrome, people on
medication for asthma, severely obese people (BMI ≥40), pregnant
women and people with haemoglobinopathies)  Teach your child good health habits, as above.  Ensure that all household surfaces that are touched by hands are kept
clean, especially bedside tables, surfaces in bathrooms and kitchens
and children’s toys. Such surfaces should be wiped regularly with a
household disinfectant according to directions on the product label

At Piercestown National school, we will do our utmost to take on board all actions and advice from the HSE and work in collaboration with you the parents to ensure the continued health and safety of all of our families.

Many thanks for your co-operation.

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