Illness shrinks attendance at Denison school - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Illness shrinks attendance at Denison school

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There were plenty of empty seats in the lunchroom at Hyde Park Elementary School in Denison. (KTEN) There were plenty of empty seats in the lunchroom at Hyde Park Elementary School in Denison. (KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- For signs of the season, look no further than Hyde Park Elementary School in Denison.

Administrators say 116 students -- about 25 percent of total enrollment -- were out sick on Wednesday. The number of absences from illness compared to this time last year are higher, with everything from allergies to flu to blame.

"Our goal is to make sure as a district that we do everything that we possibly can to keep our kids in school," said district spokesman Brian Eaves. "If we can do our part to reduce the spreading of germs, if we can do our part to make sure they're in a healthy environment."

Custodians at Denison Public Schools disinfect campuses daily to prevent illnesses from spreading.

Health professionals are seeing the majority of their waiting rooms filled with kids the past few weeks. The decrease in attendance at school and the increase at the doctor's office might have a lot to do with the change in temperatures.

"We usually don't see this many sick kids until December or even January, February... kind of more towards that type of flu season, but this year it seems early," said nurse practitioner Marisa Small.

And taking simple precautions can pay off.

"Hand sanitizer is fantastic to use," Small said. "Make sure to remind them constantly: Wash their hands after they go to the bathroom. The viruses can be anywhere; they can be on doorknobs, they can be on desks, so if that virus is sitting there and the child touches it, they're bound to come across it. So hand washing is the best thing that they can do."

She also recommends getting a flu shot as soon as possible.

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