December 14, 2017

How Child Care Providers Can Stop The Spread of the Flu This Winter

Prepare your family for winter by preparing to combat influenza. Flu season is often times more serious than the common cold. Each year, millions of children get sick with the flu, resulting in hospitalizations or death.

The annual influenza vaccine is recommended for all people 6 months of age and older. Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old, are at an increased risk of hospitalization and complications due to influenza. Since infants younger than 6 months are too young to get their own flu shot, the best way to protect these very young children is for all family members and caregivers to get the flu vaccine. Parents and caregivers can help protect more vulnerable children by vaccinating both the children and themselves.

Take steps TODAY to help your child care program prepare

  • Get your flu vaccine NOW. Encourage all staff, children, and parents to get the flu vaccine. Everyone needs a flu vaccine each year! Next year, plan to have the vaccine by October.
  • Examine and revise your program’s written plan for seasonal flu.
  • Invite a pediatrician or child care health consultant to provide influenza prevention education to your staff.
  • Use CDC posters and handouts to educate caregivers and staff about proper hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette.
  • Update family contact information and child records, so parents can be reached quickly if they need to pick up their sick child.

Plan ahead to prevent the spread of germs. Policies in child care programs can limit the spread of the influenza and should focus on encouraging vaccination and implementation of everyday preventive actions such as:

  • good respiratory etiquette;
  • hand washing;
  • cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting;
  • and excluding children and caregivers who have respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose, or sore throat) and fever.

Learn more HERE.