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Cold and Flu Season Returns

Students like freshman Bennet Boushka bring tissues around to prevent small illnesses. Photo: Graham Hurley

Cooler weather is here, which means more students will be getting sick from colds, and even worse, the flu. In general, high school students are highly susceptible to minor illnesses. The school nurses, Megan Turner and Cara Hutchison, have very busy days thanks to large numbers of students who come in with colds.

“The Pace Academy clinic is frequently in full swing with daily activity,” said Mrs. Turner. “We treat students and faculty for minor injuries and illness, both chronic and temporary.” The nurses are constantly calling parents about their children’s sickness, and sending children home and notifying the Middle and Upper Schools throughout the day is no simple task.

There’s no surefire way to prevent a cold but you can follow some simple precautions. The nurses recommend very thorough hand-washing to prevent risk of colds and other viral and bacterial infections. “It is the best way to prevent getting sick.” said Mrs. Turner. Make sure to use tissues and blow your nose whenever you feel stuffy. If you know someone who has a cold, just keep some distance from them until it is gone. Sharing cups and silverware is not advised, especially since you have no idea what kinds of germs have spread onto them. Getting the flu vaccine is important as well because the flu can take you out of school for days and even weeks.

In addition, both nurses emphasize how important sleep truly is. Most students fall short of the 8-10 hours of recommended sleep, and it certainly takes a toll on their health and academic performance. Sleep deprivation for teenagers in particular can be harmful, hampering the immune system’s ability to fight off colds and bacterial infections. Memory and the ability to concentrate is also impacted with lack of adequate sleep. Is staying up watching Netflix worth the risk?