SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The health services coordinator at the Sioux Falls School District, Molly Satter, said attendance reports aren't out of the ordinary for this time of year, but she does expect for more kids to be absent in the coming weeks. According to the Center for Disease Control, 20 kids across the nation have died from the flu this winter from the influenza.
Some of the most susceptible people to getting the flu are kids. Satter said the best way to prevent the flu is to get the vaccine. It's not too late to get it because it takes about 1 to 2 weeks to take effect and the flu is expected to last for another 13 weeks.
"While it isn't a perfect match, it can sometimes lessen the severity and duration of the flu," said Satter. "So it's definitely still helpful to get that."
The school district takes preventative measures daily by cleaning the classrooms with hospital grade products and educating kids.
If kids do end up getting the flu, then Satter suggests keeping them at home so they don't spread it to other kids.
"Typically we ask parents to not send their students back until they're fever free without the use of fever reducing medication for 24 hours," Satter said.
Preventing the flu among kids goes back to the basics like washing hands. Kids are expected to wash them for at least 20 seconds, which is the time it takes to sing the alphabet song. Health experts also suggest to cough in your sleeve because a cough is the way the flu spreads from one person to another. Reminding kids to keep their distance and stay out of someone's personal space is also important.
The last tip is to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because germs are easily spread if you touch a surface, then your face.