Officials: Keep sick kids home

COUNTY — As varying degrees of sickness — including flu and strep throat — move through the student and employee populations, School District of Pickens County administrators are urging parents to keep sick children at home.

According to an information sheet posted on schools’ websites, “in order to keep our schools healthy and decrease the spread of illness,” children need to stay home when they have a temperature of 100 degrees or higher with cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, fatigue, vomiting or diarrhea.

Officials also note that it is important to remember that not everyone with the flu will have a fever, and not everyone with symptons will have the flu.

Administrators recommend that students should be fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications such as Advil or Tylenol for 24 hours before returning to school.

In addition, if a child’s doctor has written a note for the child to be absent from school, the student should remain out of school for the full period of time the doctor has requested, officials said.

“You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick,” the posting on schools’ sites reads. “Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.”

Schools are taking steps to prevent the spread of flu and other illnesses, officials said. Custodians are being diligent in cleaning surfaces that are frequently touched by students and employees, while teachers are helping keep their classroom surfaces clean and encouraging students to wash hands and cover coughs.

School nurses are seeing any student that does not feel well and calling parents if they are too ill to remain at school. They are also communicating with area physicians to monitor the illnesses that are in the community and watching for those illnesses in the schools.

Administrators and district-level administration are monitoring the numbers of absences in the schools due to illness and will be in contact with DHEC and area physicians as necessary.

Officials urge any parents with questions about whether their children should go to school to contact their school nurse.