Now that school has started the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released updated guidelines to help reduce the spread and severity of influenza in early childhood school programs. In summary these include:
- Children and staff in target vaccination groups should be immunized.
- Those with flu-like illness should stay home until they’ve been without fever for 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medications).
- Child care providers should check staff members’ and children’s health daily, and separate sick individuals from others until they can be sent home.
If influenza severity increases, additional strategies include:
- Children with sick household members and high-risk staff should be allowed to stay home.
- People with flu-like illness should remain at home for at least 7 days after symptom onset.
- Program closures should be considered.
PositiveTip: Adults responsible for the well-being of children should carefully follow these guidelines. More very helpful information is available in the CDC brochure, Seasonal and Novel H1N1 Flu: A Guide for Parents.