Is Hand Sanitizer on Your Back to School List?

by SKHC Editor on August 14, 2009

Pens, paper, a new backpack – pretty basic back to school supplies for elementary, secondary and college students, right? Add to the list hand sanitizer.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has targeted the 6 – 24 year old age group as the most susceptible for contracting another possible H1N1 influenza outbreak.

The CDC recently changed its guidelines that only in extreme circumstances should schools close due to an outbreak of the H1N1 virus and that sick students may return as soon as 24 hours since they last had a fever. The CDC is also recommending that students get the H1N1 flu vaccination when it becomes available this fall. Preventions being continually stressed are the encouragement of proper hand washing, coughing into sleeves and staying home when you’re sick (which kind of contradicts the being able to return to school after 24 hours of last having a fever – you can be sick and not have a fever).

In the meantime school districts and university campuses are stocking up on hand sanitizers, printing swine flu prevention posters and meeting with health officials to stay up to date on the latest news and proper precautions.

If you’re lucky enough to have a school nurse you can bet she’ll be one of, if not the first, to detect any flu outbreaks at school this fall. If you do not have a nurse at your school (USA Today recently reported in 13 states the ratio of students to school nurses was over 2000 to 1 – the recommendation is 750 to 1) students and staff will need to work closely together to keep everyone on the same page.

Whether or not the H1N1 strikes back with a vengeance this fall it doesn’t hurt to at least get yourself an influenza protection kit.  Here’s a list of items that you can buy as a personal protection kit or individually and restock as needed: surface wipes, hand wipes, latex free gloves, biohazard bags, N95/face masks, sanitizing gel, tissue, isolation gowns, spill kit, pain relievers, liquids, cough drops – and for the convenience factor stock up on flu-friendly-food to get you by for a few days.

Sources: Chron.com, Examiner.com, USAToday.com

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