Winter Health Tips from the School Nurse and Newton Health Department

Stay healthy this cold/flu season. Illnesses are inevitable this time of year, but there are many ways to keep yourself and your family healthy. Here are some tips to protect yourself and to prevent the spread of germs to others:

  • Wash your hands when they are dirty, after using the restroom, and before eating
  • Wash with soap and warm water. Rub your hands together for at least 15 seconds before rinsing and drying
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when your hands are not visibly dirty
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your inner elbow—never cough or sneeze into your hands
  • Keep your hands away from your nose or mouth
  • Get a seasonal flu vaccine— the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year
  • Keep your child home is he/she is sick and let the school know they are out because of illness.

Newton Health and Human Services policy says students should be out of school for:

  • A fever over 100°F during the past 24 hours
  • A cold in active stages: coughing, runny nose, sneezing
  • A sore throat and/or swollen neck glands
  • An undiagnosed rash or skin eruption
  • Vomiting or diarrhea during the past 24 hours
  • Untreated head lice

Contact your school nurse for any questions. Contact the Health & Human Services Department at 617-796-1420 to schedule an appointment if anyone in your family still needs a flu vaccine.

Winter Safety Tips
There are lots of fun winter activities for families this time of year. Here are some things to keep in mind to stay safe this winter season:

  • Always wear a helmet while skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and playing other fast-paced slippery winter activities
  • Dress in layers to prevent body heat loss– be sure to include a hat and gloves
  • Make sure your child has appropriate shoes when walking to school, sidewalks can get very slippery!
  • Ice skate at skating rinks—some ponds and lakes may not be frozen enough to handle a skater
  • Be aware if your child has asthma, as the cold weather may aggravate his/her lungs