It seems like there's an epidemic of sick children at school these days. The bad economy may be contributing to more viruses going around the classroom.
For the past 24 years, school nurse Rosemary Jaworski has been taking care of sick students at Horton Elementary School in Chollas View.
"Colds, stuffy noses, sore throats," she said.
In part, Rosemary blames the bad economy. More and more, working parents can't afford to stay home with sick students, so they send them to school regardless.
"Because they have no one at home to watch them, and they're afraid of losing their job," she said.
The problem is when contagious children go to school, even more kids end up getting sick. School nurses are giving fliers to parents with information on when to keep students home, and when it's okay to send them to school.
"Children have anywhere from six to 10 colds a year. You can't stay home for the whole duration, but there are things you can do," Jaworski said.
Experts say kids should stay home from school if they have a fever over 100.4, if they have a severe sore throat, if they are vomiting or have diarrhea.
"Certainly somebody vomiting or somebody on antibiotics, for the first 24 hours should stay home," Jaworski said.
To prevent the spread of diseases, wash your hands frequently with warm water, and if you're unsure whether your child should stay home, consider calling the school nurse and asking.
Not all schools have full-time nurses, but maybe they should. We spent about an hour at Horton Elementary School, and during that time five children cam in for medical attention.
Several people in the News 8 newsroom have called in sick lately, which is pretty common this time of year. Flu and cold season runs from October through April and while they're both tough to deal with, there are some major differences between the two.
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