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Is it COVID-19? How to Tell

Body: Cough, cough. Sniff, sniff. “I don’t feel good.” Despite all the mask-wearing and the hand-washing, it’s entirely possible your child will get sick this winter ¾ leaving you wondering. It’s always good to check with a primary care provider if it happens, but in the meantime, here are a few clues for telling COVID-19 from a cold or the flu.

CTA: Know the symptoms à

A Note From Your School Nurse 

The Flu, the Common Cold, and Prevention

The Flu: is a respiratory illness. It does not include stomach symptoms. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea are uncommon with the flu. Flu symptoms include sudden headache, muscle/joint aches, fever (up to 104 degrees), dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, extremely tired. Most people feel better in a couple days but the cough and tiredness may last up to 2 weeks or longer. The flu or influenza is a virus that infects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs). It is spread person to person, by an infected person, when they cough, sneeze or talk, sending the virus into the air. The flu virus can also land on solid surfaces like doorknobs, countertops, and desks.  Touching those surfaces and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose can transfer the virus into your body.

The Common Cold: Usually begins slowly, and normally lasts up to 2 - 7 days. A bad cold may last up to 2 weeks but this is unusual. You may first notice a scratchy sore throat, followed by sneezing and a runny nose. You may get a mild cough several days later. Most people do not run a fever, but if they do, it will be mild. Infants can run a fever up to 102 degrees.

Tips to treat the flu / cold include: rest and drink plenty of liquids; take over the counter medications as recommended by your healthcare provider; do not give aspirin or aspirin containing medications to children; contact you healthcare provider to determine if antiviral medication would be effective for your case. Since the flu and common cold are both viruses, antibiotics don’t work.

Best Prevention:                                                                                                                

  1. Keep children home from school if they're sick.
  2. Handwashing with soap and warm water (for 20 seconds or have child sing Happy Birthday twice)
  3. Wiping down common areas /hard surfaces / phones
  4. Clorox wipes kill about 90% of germs. (not recommended for children to use) Hand sanitizers (i.e. Purell) work well (99% efficient) too. Hand sanitizers may not be used for children 3 years or younger.

I have attached some fliers that you can refer to as well.  

Rachel Sorenson, RN BSN
School Nurse Consultant
Colorado Springs School District 11
McAuliffe Elementary

(719)  328-5578

school nurse


Food Allergies

Dear Parents/Guardians of School District 11 Students:    Food allergies can be life-threatening.  It is important that schools, students, parents, and physicians work together to help minimize risks for students with food allergies.  District 11 has implemented a policy (JLCDA, Response to Students with Food Allergies) and we wanted to inform you of this important policy required by State law.     If your child has been prescribed medication for treatment of a food allergy or anaphylaxis, please contact your child’s school to obtain a Medication Administration form and an Allergy & Anaphylaxis Plan form.  We strongly encourage you to return these completed forms and supply the school with the prescribed medication needed for treatment of the student’s food allergies or anaphylaxis in a timely fashion.  Additional information related to food allergies and student’s special dietary needs can be found at any CSSD11 School Kitchen.   Please feel free to contact your school with questions or concerns related to your child’s diagnosed food allergy or anaphylaxis plan.