PARENTS have been issued advice on what to do to help mitigate the spread of cold and flu symptoms as children return to school.

Vale of Glamorgan Council says it will contact parents, giving them advice on what to do to reduce the spread of colds and flu.

The council didn’t confirm whether mask-wearing regulations would be brought back into schools, but reiterated that advice on hand hygiene and ventilation were the same as before.

“The council has never removed its processes regarding hand washing, while schools continue to follow ventilation guidance,” said a council spokesperson.

“A message will be circulated to schools next week encouraging pupils to get the flu jab, while also providing a reminder of the importance of hand washing and that pupils should stay home if unwell.

“Schools also continually review and update their risk assessments to reflect public health advice.”

Welsh Government and Public Health Wales have issued advice to parents as most children return to school on Monday, January 9.

What is the advice to tackle cold and flus as children return to school?

As schools return the Welsh Government reminded the public that the NHS is facing “unprecedented demand this winter”.

A spokesperson for the government said: “To keep everyone safe and reduce pressure on the NHS, if you have symptoms please try to stay at home and not visit health and care settings.

“If you have symptoms and have to go out, wear a face covering.”

Public Health Wales reiterated the government’s advice that if a child is sick, to keep them away from school.

"It’s one of a number of simple steps parents can take to protect their child and to minimise the spread of winter illnesses when children return to schools and nurseries in Wales next week," said a spokesperson.

"Flu and Covid-19 are currently circulating at high levels and an increase in cases of scarlet fever is also being reported.

"Children who are unwell with a fever (a high temperature) should stay at home until they feel better and the fever is over."

Dr Graham Brown, consultant in Communicable Disease Control at PHW also pointed out the importance of handwashing and had advice for adults too.

“It is also important to remind children about the importance of washing their hands to avoid germs spreading and to catch coughs and sneezes in tissues,” said Dr Brown.

“Adults should also try to stay home when unwell. If they have to go out when unwell, it is a good idea to wear a face covering to protect others.”

The best way to protect against catching flu this winter is for those eligible to get the flu vaccine. Children can have a free flu nasal spray which is safe and effective. It is available for:

  • All children in primary school
  • All children in secondary school years 7 to 11
  • All children who are aged two or three on 31 August 2022

Children aged six months or over and who have any of the long-term health conditions that puts them at increased risk from flu.