Do you remember last spring when schools across the country were closing because of the swine flu? Now, new government guidelines recommend that schools remain open even if there are confirmed cases of the H1N1 infection among students.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the following H1N1 guidelines for grades kindergarten through 12:
- Preventative measures at this point will be limited to: frequent hand-washing, coughing into sleeves (not hands), and keeping kids with flu symptoms at home.
- Schools are recommended to stay open, even during outbreaks of the flu. (This is a departure from the policy last spring when it was recommended that schools close immediately if a student because sick.) Note: Ultimately, the decision to close a school is made by local officials.
- It is also recommended that schools create isolation-type facilities to contain sick children before they are taken home.
- Infected students are allowed to return to school 24 hours after the fever subsides without the benefit of fever-reducing medication. (This is also a departure from the policy last spring in which it was suggested that kids stay home seven days after the start of symptoms.
- At this point, the vaccination for the H1N1 (available sometime in October) has not been determined to be necessary for school-age children.
What do you think of these guidelines? Do you think they are strong enough to protect our kids from the H1N1 flu?