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Community must help schools fight flu viruses

Hi. My name is Dana Smith. I have a daughter at Dearing Elementary and I have another daughter at Thomson Middle School. I just had a suggestion to help keep the school sanitized at least during flu season. I know we can't stop or prevent the flu 100 percent, but with the new H1N1 virus and hearing about the deaths it is causing has really concerned us all.

Last week the news reported the number of deaths in children was 76, so far, which is more than the number of deaths in children for the whole season last year and flu season is just starting.

My heart goes out to the Rockafeller family. That one really hit home for all of us. I am proud to have my students in McDuffie County schools because I know how well and focused you are when it comes to not only education, but also the preventative measures you take to protect our children! I know things are already being done to prevent the spread of this virus in our schools. I think the hand sanitizer being on the supply list for the children every year is awesome!

My main suggestion I have is to send a letter home asking all parents/grandparents to at least send one container of Clorox or Lysol wipes to their child's class. The teachers could then wipe down the desks, and door knobs and any main areas that are touched in their room every afternoon. The teachers on each hall or the custodians, could take turns wiping the bathroom doors and locks on the bathroom stalls in the afternoon.

I am sure parents, even other members of the community, would love to get involved when it concerns the health of our children. The flu virus can live on a surface up to 48 hours. I think wiping down surfaces, daily, that are touched often could dramatically reduce the spread of this virus.

The classrooms and bathrooms aren't the only places that need to be wiped though, I would like to see the library tables and doors, bus seats and windows, gymnasiums, front office doors and all other populated areas being wiped down daily.

Another thing I have found to help my children so far is vitamins. Flinstones makes gummie vitamins with extra C and immunity support. I have been giving my children those. I also remind my children every morning before catching the bus, "Remember to keep your hands washed and stay out of peoples faces today." That way it is fresh on their minds every day.

I know we can all make a difference! As a community, when the flu hits our town we need to fight back with a vengeance! When we do, we will never know how many students we prevented from getting sick or dying, but that unknown statistic is quite OK!

Dana Smith

Harlem, Ga.

Web posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009

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