1 September 2023

Keeping those bugs away

Today is the first day of spring with warmer weather on the way and less bugs floating around....we hope!  Through winter we expected, and indeed saw, lots of nasty colds and flu as well as COVID-19 lurking around too.  This has led to our absence rate being slightly higher than we'd like it to be, hovering around 82-84% attendance.  This not so good attendance is of course, predominantly due to sickness.  We can see that our community are doing the right thing and keeping their children home when they are unwell, which we all appreciate because this is how we minimise the spread of those nasty bugs.  Well done everyone, keep this up!

From the 15 August the requirement to isolate at home for 7 days if you have COVID has been removed.  This means that we rely even more on the good choices of our community and that people will stay home if they are unwell.  

Te Whatu Ora have provided schools with guidelines for managing and preventing the spread of illnesses.  At Te Kura o Tawatawa - Ridgway School, we are following those guidelines and doing our best to provide a healthy environment for all of our tamariki and staff to learn and work in.  These guidlines are linked below, and include the following...

  1. Stay home if you are unwell.  When tamariki are noticed to be unwell at school they are sent home. 
  2. Hand washing and drying routines are maintained (especially before eating) and sanitiser is available in all areas
  3. Tissues are freely available
  4. Practising good hygiene for sneezing/coughing.
  5. Spaces are well ventilated (windows open; heating system brings air from outside)
  6. Staff are encouraged to test for COVID-19 if they are unwell and take all the time they need to recuperate.

Not every runny nose or sneeze is due to a bug or infection.  If your child has seasonal or environmental allergies they may at times show some of the symptoms of a cold.  They do not need to stay at home if that is the case.  

While nothing beats a good night's sleep, my top tip is that if your child needs to stay home because they are unwell, offer them plenty of books to read.  They won't miss out on a good education if they are reading!

If you are worried about the amount of illness your child has experienced, consult with your GP.  You can call Healthline anytime on 0800 611 116 for free health advice.  You can also find excellent health advise at KidsHealth or Healthify (formerly Health Navigator).

Spring is here now though. The sun will shine, lovely light Wellington breezes will blow the bugs away and all of our tamariki will be healthy and well and attending school every day possible.


For those that are interested - here is that link to the Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand: Infection prevention and control guidance for education.

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