The Flu: A Guide for Parents

  • Flu Basics
    Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. Many different influenza viruses are constantly changing. They cause illness, hospital stays, and deaths in the United States each year. The flu can be very dangerous for children. Each year about 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized from flu complications, like pneumonia.

    Sick Child There are excellent resources for more detailed information about the flu, including prevention, symptoms, and treatments on the CDC website (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Additional information is provided in The Flu: A Guide for Parents.

    Can my child go to school if he or she is sick?

    No. For the health and safety of our students and staff, your child should stay home to rest and to avoid giving the flu to other children or caregivers. 

    When can my child go back to school after having the flu?
    Keep your child home from school, daycare, or camp for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. (Fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.) A fever is defined as 100°F (37.8°C) or higher.