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Practical advice for parents when preparing to send kids back to school

FROM: Tama County Public Health

August 19, 2010
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald
TAMA NEWS-HERALD - With school doors opening soon and children back in classrooms, exposure to various viruses and disease is common.

Tama County Public Health would like to give a little practical advice to help with prevention. We can protect ourselves and others from disease by:

Knowing how germs are spread: person-object-person or person to person.

Cleaning surfaces often, (telephones, door knobs, handrails).

Frequent hand washing.

Good overall hygiene (bath every day and brush teeth 2 x day) If you have been sick, get a new toothbrush. Do not share towels, washcloths, or other personal items like razors, hairbrushes.

Getting vaccinated.

Stay home when you are ill. If you are prescribed medication for illness be sure to take all of the doses. Do not save any for the next time or share with others.

In the past we have seen increases in pertussis(whooping cough), influenza(last year H1N1 especially), and MRSA (staph infection of the skin). Pertussis and influenza are spread from person to person through air borne contact. MRSA is usually a skin infection and can be spread by person to person contact or by object to person contact.

Teach Your Child

the 3 C’s of Prevention

1. Cover your cough: use a tissue or you elbow.

2. Clean your hands frequently: use soap and water or hand sanitizer that has at least 62 percent alcohol content.

3.Contain the germs. Say home when you are sick. Don’t go to work or be out in the public.

More information


Staphylococcus aureaus(“staph”) infections have been around for a long time, causing mild to severe illness.

MRSA is a kind of staph infection that may be more difficult to treat but is otherwise the same as a “staph infection”. Mild infections may look like a pimple or boil and can be read, swollen and painful, or have pus or other drainage. More serious infections may cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections or surgical wound infections.

Staph is passed from person to person through direct contact with skin or through contact with contaminated items.

The bacteria may live in people’s noses o and on their skin and most of the time do not cause any problems. Staph can enter the body through breaks in the skin and sometimes cause infection. The main ways to prevent staph infection are to wash hands and care for wounds properly, keep them covered, don’t share personal clothing or grooming utensils, and see your health care provider if wounds are draining or contain pus.

Learning occurs best when children are healthy. Please help to keep Tama County children healthy and happy.


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