Guardians of school-aged children in Manitoba will have access to daily updates about unusual absentee rates in schools, the province announced Wednesday.
Education Minister Peter Bjornson said the move will allow caregivers to make informed decisions about their children's health in the wake of an anticipated outbreak of swine flu in the fall and winter.
"Being aware of abnormal levels of absenteeism will also remind parents to take proper precautions, such as ensuring that children with flu-like symptoms remain home and that alternate arrangements for child care should be made," Bjornson said in a statement.
The updates will be provided online at school division websites, the province said.
The notifications will not be made specific to flu-like illnesses, Bjornson said, because absenteeism could be related to other circulating viruses or for non-medical reasons.
Schools already report unusual absentee rates to Manitoba Health, which would then conduct a public health assessment.
The provincial Family Services and Housing Department is also working with child-care centres to ensure proper communication to guardians about unusual absenteeism rates.