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ABCs Of Adolescent Illness

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By Brittany Cooper

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Some joke that children are like walking petri dishes.

When confined to a room, there's no question they're spreading germs, contaminating surfaces throughout.

But all jokes aside, with flu season well underway, our area schools and daycares have seen their share of sickness this year.

Ali Bourgeois works as a preschool teacher at Agape Christian School and Daycare.

Children from as young as 6 weeks to 9 years old are currently involved in one program or another.

Clearly marked on the door, a list indicating which symptoms parents need to look for before sending their child to school.

But, not everyone follows the rules.

"We have to remove the kid to somewhere by themselves, then we have to call their parents to tell them what we think, and we ask them to get them checked out and bring us a note saying they're cleared and can come back to daycare," Bourgeois explains.

"There may be one single child or a teacher that is the individual that brought it in, thinking maybe they had a little cold. It gets worse, they miss a few days, they come back, they expose their classmates," says physician Dr. Mary Curtis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend staying home when a fever is above 100.5.

But, challenges often arise for parents, regarding when it's the right time to take a pre-verbal child to the doctor.

"If they got an underlying medical condition that makes their immune system weaker, like if they have diabetes or severe asthma. Those would be indications to bring your child in sooner. Otherwise if your child is overall healthy, if they're working hard to breathe, their appetite really decreased, if you as a parent just think this child is sicker than what I've seen with a cold before, that would probably be a good indication to bring them to a doctor," points out Dr. Kathryn Reese, pediatrician.

Bourgeois tells us the children wash their hands before snacks and meals.

The table is cleaned and sanitized.

"After the kids finish eating, I remove all the chairs, wipe down the table, spray everything with bleach water, I wipe it all down and sweep and mop...After snack, lunch and when they go home,” she explains.

Helping the children gain an education, not an excuse from school.

Friday we'll visit Lincoln Elementary and see how the school handles absences.


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