December 10, 2018
Dear Winnona Park families,
The cooler weather is finally here! While I am grateful for the lower temperatures, we have arrived at
the time of year to expect cold and flu symptoms. Some of these are unavoidable, but there are
several things you can do at home to help prevent illness and keep everyone feeling healthy. Here
are some tips to remember:
● WASH, WASH, WASH YOUR HANDS! This is still the best defense against illness.
Encourage your children to wash, especially before meals. To ensure they are taking
enough time to adequately kill germs, have them sing the ABC song while scrubbing.
● Get plenty of rest. School age children should get 9-11 hours of sleep each night.
Grownups should try to get 8 hours.
● Drink lots of fluids and eat a balanced diet - especially breakfast! I do see a fair
number of children with stomachaches and/or headaches due to hunger.
● Dress appropriately for cold weather. Layers are often best so they can be
comfortable as the temps rise throughout the day. Even in cool weather, students
need the exercise and fresh air during recess.
Unfortunately, even with the best care, a virus can make us sick. Cold symptoms are best relieved
with rest and fluids. If symptoms are mild, the child is fever-free and has energy to get through the
day, they are welcome at school. Flu symptoms are usually more severe, rapid in onset and include
fever, body aches and significant fatigue. The main reasons for keeping your child home are:
– if he or she is too sick to be comfortable at school(i.e. persistent cough)
– if he or she might spread a contagious illness to other students.
I am Nurse Jen (Jen Eagle) and I am very excited to be working at Winnona Park. I am originally from Chicago (Go Bears!) and moved to Decatur 18 years ago. I have four children in the city schools of Decatur ages 13, 12, 10, and almost eight.
Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or concerns.