Letter To Parents/Guardians September 8th, 2009

September 8, 2009

September, 9th 2009

Harding Charter Preparatory High School Update: H1N1 News for Parents/Guardians

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Despite confirmed cases of swine flu at Oklahoma University and Oklahoma State University, we believe students can safely attend classes and that oir school will remain open at this time.

At this time, the state and local health departments have advised us that students can continue to come to school, as long as they are not sick and do not think they have flu symptoms. Flu-like symptoms include: fever (over 100 degrees F.), feverishness, cough, sore throat, runny nose, or stuffy nose. Additional symptoms may be experienced with swine flu, including muscle pain, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhea.

Flu spreads easily. If you suspect your child is getting the flu, it is important that he/she does not attend school or go anywhere else—-such as group childcare, the mall, or sporting events-—where other people would be exposed to flu germs. It is also important to teach your children how to reduce their risk of getting the flu and protect others from infection.

  • Teach your children to wash their hands often. Washing with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds is ideal (that’s about as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice).

  • Teach your children the proper use of hand sanitizer. Gels, rubs, and hand wipes all work well, as long as they contain at least 60% alcohol. Hand wipes must be disposed of properly. Always read and follow label instructions when using hand sanitizer.

  • Teach your children to keep their hands away from their face and avoid touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.

  • Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing into the inside of their elbow. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve—not your hands!

  • Help your children to learn these healthy habits by setting a good example and always doing them yourself.

If we all practice good hygiene, health officials believe we can limit the spread of swine flu in our school at this time. We are consulting with local health officials regarding best cleaning practices for infection control in our buildings.

While the current situation does not warrant school closure, if swine flu continues to spread and more students become ill, it may become necessary to close schools for a period of time. We are working with our State and County Health officials to monitor the situation here and will make all decisions in consultation with them and the Governance Board. We will inform parents/guardians immediately if the situation changes and it becomes necessary to close schools.

If schools are closed, please do not make arrangements—such as sending children to a friend’s home or group childcare—that will put them in close contact with other children. It is important to plan ahead. Have a family discussion now to consider options in advance of the event of a school closing.

Please stay informed by reading any notifications sent home with your student, paying attention to media reports, and calling the office directly at 405.528.0562.  You may also contact the Acute Disease Service Epidemiologist, at (405) 271-4060 24 hours a day / 7 days a week . Someone will always be available to answer questions from healthcare providers and the general public.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our students and our school healthy.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Haran Caplan

 

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