If you work with or around children, or have some of your own at home, you may have noticed something. Something that doesn’t quite jibe with the onset of nice springtime weather and increasingly longer days.
There’s still flu around.
As the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) pointed out in a recent listserv email, “Influenza has been known to circulate into May and June, so it is still important to get the flu vaccine now.”
As the saying goes, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”
In addition to taking care of any needed flu vaccinations now, here’s a helpful list from the AAP with some suggestions for teachers and childcare providers on getting ready for next year’s flu season. Some good stuff here for parents to know, too! --
- Update family contact information and child records so parents can be reached quickly if they need to pick up their sick child.
- Examine and revise [your] program’s written plan for seasonal flu.
- Schedule influenza prevention education for staff. Review policies on hand washing; cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting surfaces and toys; and excluding children and caregivers who are sick.
- Display educational materials to encourage hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette.
- Help families and communities understand the important roles they can play in reducing the spread of flu. Plan ahead to distribute a customized letter and fact sheet mid-summer to parents about influenza prevention and control.
- Encourage all staff, children, and parents to plan to get the flu vaccine in August 2014 or as soon as it is available. Everyone needs a flu vaccine each year, even when the virus strains in the vaccine do not change from the previous year, because immunity wears off over time. Encourage parents to talk with their child’s pediatrician about a plan for children with underlying health conditions to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine as soon as it is available and to treat them early if they develop influenza-like illness.
If you or your school district needs training in coping with pediatric emergencies, we encourage you to contact an ASHI or MEDIC First Aid training center near you. Our ASHI Pediatric and MEDIC First Aid PediatricPlus programs offer CPR, AED, and first aid training to treat children, infants, and adults.
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