Stop sending sick kids to school

March 09, 2011 04:00 am

A virulent virus has invaded the Brookings-Harbor public schools and we don’t envy the staff, faculty, volunteers and students who have no choice but to enter those germ-filled arenas every day.

How do they defend themselves? They can’t, without our help.

Stop sending sick kids to school.

Let’s see a show of hands: How many parents out there have sent a child to school knowing, or at least suspecting, a child might be contagious? That’s a lot of hands. And, to be fair, our hands are raised, too.

It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between a child’s cold and allergies, or when a child is sick or faking it. We also recognize there are parents who send their sick child to school because they don’t have a backup caregiver and can’t afford to skip work.

So what can be done to avoid the vicious cycle of illness in our public schools?

For one thing, school officials are immediately sending sick students home, as they should.

They leaves it up to parents to take the next steps.

Those steps, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, include:

•Develop a plan before your child gets sick to make sure you or someone you trust can take care of the child.

•Teach yourself and your children to wash their hands with soapy water for at 20 seconds several times a day. Use hand sanitizers when soap and water are not available.

•Teach children to cover their mouths and noses when they cough and sneeze.

•If your child is sick, keep the child home for at least 24 hours after they are free of fever.

Following these simple guidelines can give us the advantage we need to effectively battle and minimize illnesses in our public schools.