DOTHAN, Ala. (WSFA) - Girard Primary Schools alone sent about 125 students home the week before Thanksgiving because of flu-like symptoms. Dothan City Schools is hoping to work with parents in keeping classrooms germ free.
“We’ve had a lot of students come in that had been running a fever," says Girard Primary School’s nurse Sara Phillips. "They've been coughing and sneezing, headaches, they just don't feel good."
Flu symptoms can spread quickly in a classroom full of students with runny noses, coughs, and germs.
“Those children go into their classroom with their other classmates and they are coughing and sneezing and touching everything and exposing those other kids to germs,” says Phillips.
A letter sent to DCS parents included advice on what to check before students return to school.
“If they have a fever keep them home. They have to be fever-free for 24 hours without medicine before they can return to school,” says Phillips.
Teachers are taking extra steps to keep common contact surfaces like doorknobs and desks bacteria-free.
Parents can do their part by practicing healthy hygiene routines with their children.
“When your hands are dirty wash them. When you touched somebody that's sick wash your hands. Wash them often. Wash your backpack. Wash your coats. Wash your hats. Wash everything to keep germs down to a minimum,” says Phillips.
Of course, getting flu shots help to protect against the most threatening strain of the virus.