Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Are You Ready? Preparing to Fight the Flu

Early childhood settings present unique challenges for infection control due to the highly vulnerable population, close interpersonal contact, shared toys, and limited ability of young children to understand or practice good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene.

Parents, early childhood providers, and public health officials should be aware that, even under the best of circumstances, transmission of infectious diseases such as flu cannot be completely prevented in early childhood or other settings. No policy can keep everyone who is potentially infectious out of these settings.

Children younger than 5 years of age are at increased risk of complications from influenza (flu); the risk is greater among children younger than 2 years old. Importantly, infants younger than 6 months of age represent a particularly vulnerable group because they are too young to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine. As a result, individuals responsible for caring for these children constitute a high-priority group for early vaccination.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has provided some of the following recommendations:

Get vaccinated for the seasonal flu; contact your local health department for more information.

Stay home when you're sick. If a child or staff member develops symptoms while at the program, s/he should promptly be separated from others and sent home.

Conduct daily health checks.

Have children and staff wash their hands with soap and water when they arrive and frequently throughout the day.

Clean and disinfect all the time! And then clean and disinfect some more.

For more good, useful information you can visit the following websites:

1 comment:

  1. Very good reminder. I always appreciate it when parents keep sick kids home. My kids were sick right before Thanksgiving and we did a "germs are not for sharing party" when everyone was well again.
    Little Wonders' Days