Elementary students learn flu-fighting, kung-fu style
March 19, 2011 at midnight
Updated March 18, 2011 at 10:19 p.m.
Sneezy Hailee Morgan was covered in germy green paper dots and stumbled around in front of her classmates with the flu symbols.
A small mass of children wrenched their faces and screamed.
"Ewww! It's the flu!" they chanted, swaying their little bodies in emphasis.
Later, a second-degree taekwondo black belt, would chop and jab his way through a lesson on flu fighting, kung-fu style.
The act was part of a state-wide tour at Guadalupe Elementary School sponsored by the Department of State Health Services. The school was one of only 40 in the state selected at random to get the tour.
"The flu are nasty germs trying to get on us and into our bodies to make us sick just by doing ordinary things," said Tshaw Beyonce. He and his partner, Luis Ordaz, known as the Flu Fighters, used the green dots to represent the flu as he taught the group.
Last year, 266 children age 4-9 were hospitalized in the state because of the flu, according to state health data.
Beyonce showed students how to chop the flu using a jolting hand washing method and elbow jab to smother a cough or sneeze.
The mission for the Flu Fighters is to teach healthy habits like hand-washing, covering coughs and encouraging kids to stay home when they're sick to keep the sickness from spreading.
"It's teaching kids they can use the healthy habits and do their flu-fighter moves at the same time," he said. "We found out, just doing research, when you talk to kids and you're straight-laced with them... kids don't react to it."
After Hailee sanitized herself, Beyonce removed her dots.
"You can fight off the flu and you can actually get rid of it yourself," Hailee said, explaining she'd actually already had the flu earlier in the year.
"I couldn't get out of bed my back was hurting so much. I was coughing, sneezing. I think I went through like five boxes of tissues," she said.
Flu season peaks in January and February, but lasts until May. The Flu Fighters promoted preventative measures, but encouraged a flu shot as a final recommendation.
They rounded out the act with a board chopping and chest bumping Korbyn Jones, a fourth-grader.
"I learned a lot about germs travelling and what you should do in case you get the flu or in case someone you know gets the flu," he said.