The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued timely advice to help protect children as they return to school after their Christmas break.
The advice comes in response to the current high levels of Flu and coronavirus (COVID-19), which are likely to continue to increase in coming weeks. High numbers of scarlet fever, which is caused by group A streptococcus, also continue to be reported.
Professor Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser at the UKHSA, said:
‘It’s important to minimise the spread of infection in schools and other education and childcare settings as much as possible. If your child is unwell and has a fever, they should stay home from school or nursery until they feel better and the fever has resolved.
Helping children to learn about the importance of good hand hygiene is also key, so practice regular handwashing at home with soap and warm water. Catching coughs and sneezes in tissues then binning them is another simple way to help stop illness from spreading.
Adults should also try to stay home when unwell and if you do have to go out, wear a face covering. When unwell don’t visit healthcare settings or visit vulnerable people unless urgent.
Remember that flu vaccination is still available for all eligible groups and is the best protection against the virus. We have seen good uptake in older age groups but vaccination among young children remains low. Flu can be very unpleasant and, in some cases, can lead to more serious illness. Getting your child vaccinated protects them and others they come into contact with, and it’s still not too late.
Eligible children include:
- those aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2022
- all primary school-aged children
- some secondary school-aged children
You can get more information getting your child vaccinated against flu on NHS.UK.