Friday, November 6, 2009

Maharishi School Following H1N1 Flu Prevention Procedures

Yesterday while talking to the Maharishi School custodian, she mentioned that much more soap was being used in the school restrooms this year by the students than in previous times. The explicit instruction at Maharishi School of basic flu prevention procedures seems to be paying off.

Students are washing their hands more. It is common to see students coughing or sneezing "into their sleeves," their mouths covered, rather than hosing the room (as my junior high students would say). When students come back from an illness, their health seems more stable, and students seem to be more alert to deciding to have their parents come to get them if they feel ill.

As a brief review--clean, cover, and contain are the three "C's" of prevention.
  • Clean hands (and wrists) thoroughly with soap. I once had a kindergarten teacher tell me she taught her students to sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" to themselves twice while washing so that they would soap and wash long enough--just telling them "thirty seconds" was too abstract.
  • Cover the mouth when coughing. The students at Maharishi School have found putting their arms to their mouths quickly is an effective cover when coughing. This also keeps germs off the hands and lessens the chance of passing on the contagion.
  • Containing the illness by staying at home. It is recommended to stay at home 24 hours after fever symptoms have passed.
Here are a few other tips that have passed my attention.
  • "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist unnecessarily touching the face. The virus must enter the body to infect.
  • Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine or
    Hydrogen Peroxide if you don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days
    after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and
    show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling hinders proliferation.
  • Drink warm liquids, such as tea. The virus is washed to the stomach, where it cannot proliferate.
As with all these messages circulating, I will add that I'm a writer, not a health professional, and that visiting a health professional is always recommended for an illness.

Thank you to all concerned adults who are helping keep our children well.

Copyright 2009 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved.


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