Action Steps for Parents if School is Dismissed or
Children are Sick and Must Stay HomeBe prepared to support home learning activities if the school makes them available.
Your child’s school may offer web-based lessons, instructional phone calls, and other
types of distance learning. Have school materials, such as text books, workbooks,
and homework packets available at home.
Have activities for your children to do while at home. Pull together games, books,
DVDs and other items to keep your family entertained.
Find out if your employer will allow you to stay at home to care for sick household
members or children dismissed from school. Ask if you can work from home. If this
is not possible, find other ways to care for your children at home.
If school is dismissed, monitor the school’s website, local news, and other sources for
information about returning to school.
Tips for taking care of children (and other household members) with the flu
Stay home if you or your child is sick until at least 24 hours after there is nolonger a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine).Keeping sick students at home means that they keep their viruses to themselvesrather than sharing them with others.
Stay home even if taking antiviral medicines.
Cover coughs and sneezes. Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol basedhand rub often and especially after coughing or sneezing.
Keep sick household members in a separate room (a sick room) in the houseas much as possible to limit contact with household members who are not sick.
Consider designating a single person as the main caregiver for the sick person.
Monitor the health of the sick child and any other household members bychecking for fever and other symptoms of flu. A fever is a temperature taken with athermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degreesCelsius). If you are not able to measure a temperature, the sick person might havea fever if he or she feels warm, has a flushed appearance, or is sweating or shivering.
Watch for emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention. These
warning signs include:Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish or gray skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Not urinating or no tears when crying
Severe or persistent vomiting
Not waking up or not interacting
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Check with your doctor about any special care needed for household memberswho may be at higher risk for complications from flu. This includes childrenunder the age of 5 years, pregnant women, people of any age who have chronicmedical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and people age 65years and older.
Have the sick household member wear a face mask – if available and tolerable– when sharing common spaces with other household members to help preventspreading the virus to others. This is especially important if other household membersare at high risk for complications from flu.
Ask your doctor about antiviral medicines or fever-reducing medicines forsick household members. Do not give aspirin to children or teenagers; it can cause arare but serious illness called Reye’s syndrome
Make sure sick household members get plenty of rest and drink clearfluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants) to keepfrom being dehydrated.
If your health department says that flu conditions have become more severe
Extend the time sick children stay home for at least 7 days, even if they feel
better sooner. People who are still sick after 7 days should continue to stay home
until at least 24 hours after symptoms have gone away.
If a household member is sick, keep any school-aged brothers or sisters
home for 5 days from the time the household member became sick. Parents should
monitor their health and the health of other school-aged children for fever and
other symptoms of the flu.