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With a cough, cough here and a sniff, sniff there…

January 10, 2011

Well folks, our annual friend is here, and he’s a mean little strain this year too.  The flu bug is making himself known to us and we are fielding  many sick little ones.  I visited the Ottawa Public Health website to get some tips and advice on battling the flu that I have shared below.  Please note that it is the view of Ottawa Public Health to get vaccinated against the flu, and not necessarily that of Elizabeth Park PS or the OCDSB.  We respect that families will make the decision that is best for their family.

What are the signs and symptoms of the flu?

Flu symptoms include a fever, headaches, muscle aches and pains, extreme fatigue, stuffy nose, dry hacking cough and a sore throat. People who are sick with the flu can be bed-ridden for up to five days or may require hospitalization. The elderly may not have a fever. In children, the flu can also cause earaches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms are much more severe than the common cold and it is not the same as the stomach flu, which also causes stomach upset and diarrhea.

How can I protect myself and my family from the flu?

To prevent the flu virus from infecting you, your family and children, you can:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you can’t wash right away  **Soap and water is always best
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue, your arm, or your sleeve – not your hand
  • Stay at home when you are ill
  • Get your flu vaccine every year

We encourage parents to keep their child home from school when ill with the flu so as to minimize its spread.  It’s not recommended that they return until they have gone at least 24 hours without vomiting or having diarrhea.  The same advice goes for parents and their workplace!  Moms and Dads need to take care of themselves too!

Thank you, and wishing you good health this winter!

Mrs. Paynter


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