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QC schools prep for flu season

Posted on: 4:15 pm, January 10, 2013, by , updated on: 06:31pm, January 10, 2013

Flu season is off to a roaring start across the country, and local schools are already working to keep kids from spreading the bug.

Students at J.B. Young in Davenport know it’s no fun being sick.

“The worst part is that you have to stay home,” said fifth grader Madison Wallace.

“You don’t get to come to school and learn, and when you come back to school you’ve got a lot of work to do,” added her brother, Matt Wallace.

That’s why school nurses and teachers are taking a proactive approach to this year’s flu.

“They teach them how to cover their mouths properly, mouth and nose need to be covered, and if they use a tissue, that they throw that away, and wash their hands with soap and water is preferred,” said Davenport school district head nurse Joan Jutting.

In Davenport schools, there’s hand sanitizer in every room. Kids are learning symptoms like coughing, sore throat, sneezing and body aches, and the lessons are paying off.

“I wash my hands. I make sure I have plenty of water,” said Madison.

It’s also up to parents, though, to keep schools healthy. Jutting is asking parents to be on the lookout for some tell-tale signs.

“If they are not eating as normal, or they’re interacting differently, not as energetic, tired, fatigued, then they need to be looking at maybe they are sick,” said Jutting.

If kids are sick, be sure and keep them home. To ward off the virus, try to make sure children are eating healthy, getting to bed early, and getting their Vitamin C. The best prevention, though, is a flu shot.

“That is the number one step to preventing a flu season,” said Jutting.

So far, the Davenport school district is reporting normal numbers of flu cases for this time of year. If more than 10 percent of any school does come down with an illness, though, a letter will go out to parents to let them know.