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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Flu Information Available From Flu.Gov

Section H. Childcare Organizations and Youth Programs
Will schools be dismissed during the 2009-2010 flu season?
How can my organization support efforts to prevent flu transmission in schools?
How can my childcare or after-school program support the 2009 H1N1 flu response?

  • Stay home when sick. Those with flu-like illness should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines. They should stay home even if they are using antiviral drugs. Early childhood programs, parents, or state and local health officials may elect to require longer periods of exclusion.
  • Separate ill students and staff. Children and staff who appear to have flu-like illness should be sent to a room separate from others until they can be sent home. They should wear a surgical mask, if possible. Those caring for ill students should also wear protective gear.
  • Educate and encourage students to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze. Provide them with easy access to tissues. Remind them to cover coughs or sneezes using their elbow or shoulder instead of their hand when a tissue is not available.
  • Remind students to practice good hand hygiene. Provide the time and supplies (easy access to running water and soap or hand sanitizers) for them to wash their hands as often as necessary.
  • Do routine cleaning. Staff or volunteers should routinely clean areas that students and staff touch often. Special cleaning with bleach and other non-detergent-based cleaners is not necessary.
  • Increase distance between people. Try developing innovative ways to separate students. These can be as simple as moving desks or workspaces farther apart or using larger rooms when available.
  • Get vaccinated against the flu. All children and many staff in early childhood settings will fall within the target groups for the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine.
  • Conduct daily health checks. Early childhood providers observe all children for signs of illness and should talk with each child’s parent or guardian.
  • Encourage early treatment for children and staff at high risk for flu complications. Parents and staff should be encouraged to talk with their health care provider to determine whether they, or a member of their family, are at high risk for flu complications.
  • Consider selective early childhood program closures. Work closely with your local health department to determine whether your early childhood program should be temporarily closed.

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