DES MOINES, Iowa – School nurses at Des Moines Public Schools are sending out reminders to keep children home from school fever-free up to 24 hours.
According to DMPS Health Supervisor Diane Gladson, nurses may send the message to parents because they feel too many kids are being sent to school ill or just as a friendly reminder as winter approaches.
“It’s the whole mind, body connection so if you are not feeling well your body is fighting to get better. Typically you need to rest to get more sleep and so it’s just difficult to be in our learning environment, which is pretty demanding today,” Gladson said.
DMPS has the policy to keep children home fever-free off of medication for 24 hours to not spread bacteria and germs throughout the building.
Ruby Van Meter School Nurse Jasmine Lester said, “With our population, it is just so important because they have lowered immunity and they get illnesses very quickly.”
According to the Polk County Health Department, the flu is not wide spread across the state at this time. Instead, the county is seeing more common viruses, which is normal for this time of the year.
Gladson said it is important for parents to remember one person can spread illness to a whole building.
“It’s not always just about the individual that’s ill but it’s the population at large. We have a lot of students and staff in our buildings that are immune-compromised or have underlining conditions that they can’t be fully vaccinated so that’s why it is so important,” Gladson said.
If parents cannot leave work Gladson said to find a relative, neighbor or someone they trust to watch over their child while they rest and get better.
Right now DMPS is seeing cases of the common cold district-wide, with only a few reported cases of the flu.