There are many wonderful and amazing aspects of working with children, but sharing their germs is not one of them. December saw most of the members and staff enjoying a seasonal cough and cold. We also heard that the stomach flu was making its rounds and now 2018 is bringing the real flu to the south shore. So much so that South Lake has run out of Tamiflu, the antibiotics most commonly used to treat cases of the flu.
Here at the Club we are taking all the precautions we can, including frequent hand washing, wiping down surfaces with Clorox and, as always, encouraging the members to keep their hands and sneezes to themselves.
Parents can help us to reduce the spread of germs by keeping children at home if they have a fever, also encouraging lots of hand washing, and teaching your child the importance of coughing or sneezing into their elbow rather than their hand. Over the counter immunity boosts like Airbourne can help, though lots of vitamins via fruits and vegetables probably works just as well.
As well as coughs and colds, we have also experienced a small outbreak of head lice at the Club this week. Head lice always brings out fear in parents, but really it is incredible common among children and can affect anyone at anytime. It also has nothing to do with the cleanliness of the hair or the child’s surroundings. We have sprayed down all surfaces at the Club and highly recommend that as a precautionary measure you check your child’s hair. If you do find evidence of eggs or lice, then please treat the hair immediately with Rid or another equally good product. You will also want to wash clothing and bedding in HOT water. Lice spread through head to head contact or the sharing of hats, clothes etc We have instructed the members to not swap/share clothing and to avoid putting their heads together, but putting coats and hats inside bags is another useful precaution that you can encourage.
The flu and the head lice will soon pass but the more precautions we all take the quicker that will happen.
And finally, although you are no longer financially penalized if you don’t have insurance, it is important to make sure that your children have access to healthcare – both for preventative check-ups etc and also for treatment if they become sick. Covered California will be enrolling until January 31st and Barton Hospital has a team of staff ready to help you enroll. They will also be able to tell you if your child or family qualifies for MediCal or any other healthcare benefits. Barton’s team can be reach at 530 600 1984 or www.bartonhealth.org/enroll