Content on this page was developed during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic and has not been updated.
- The H1N1 virus that caused that pandemic is now a regular human flu virus and continues to circulate seasonally worldwide.
- The English language content on this website is being archived for historic and reference purposes only.
- For current, updated information on seasonal flu, including information about H1N1, see the CDC Seasonal Flu website.
Steps the Child Care or Early Childhood Program is Taking Now
February 17, 2009 1:00 PM ET
- This template can be customized and used as an announcement via e-mail, Web site, program newsletter, or other creative ways to reach parents and program staff.
- Coordinate efforts with your local health department before distributing this letter or e-mail communication to ensure that all information is timely, relevant, and accurate.
Steps the Program is Taking Now
At this time, program staff and children who are NOT sick can safely come to the early childhood program. We are working closely with the [county/city] health department and will keep you updated with any important information regarding the current flu conditions.
The following steps are being taken at our program to help keep children and staff from getting sick with flu.
- We are encouraging our staff to get vaccinated for seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu.
- Encouraging parents to have children (6 months of age and older) vaccinated for seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu. Children under the age of 5 years are at higher risk for flu complications.
- We are child care providers are educated and encouraged to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, and are teaching children how to do the same.
- Child care providers are practicing good hand hygiene and we are providing the time and supplies for staff and children to wash their hands as often as necessary. Our staff is actively helping children wash their hands frequently.
- We are performing a daily health check of children and staff when they arrive at the child care program. Please make sure your contact information is up-to-date so we can contact you to pick up your child if he or she becomes sick.
- If children or staff have flu-like symptoms, they are kept in a separate, but supervised, space until they can go home. We are also limiting the number of staff who takes care of sick children.
- We are asking parents and staff to keep themselves and children home if they have flu-like illness. They should stay home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius measured by mouth), or signs of a fever (chills, feeling very warm, a flushed appearance, or sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medicines (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
- We are frequently cleaning surfaces and items that children touch with their hands, mouths, and body fluids such as toys, diaper stations, chairs, or playground equipment.
- We may decide to temporarily close the program if there is a lot of flu in the community. Please consider alternate child care arrangements in case we need to close temporarily. Check with your employer to find out if they will allow you to stay at home to care for your children. Ask if you can work from home. If this is not possible, start planning for other ways to care for your children at home.
If the flu conditions become MORE severe, we will consider adding the following steps:
- Extending the time sick children or child care providers stay home to at least 7 days, even if they feel better. Those who are still sick after 7 days should continue to stay home until at least 24 hours after symptoms have gone away.
- Allowing children and staff at higher risk for flu complications to stay home. Parents and staff should make this decision in consultation with their health care provider.
- Finding ways to increase social distances (the space between people) in our program by dividing classes into smaller groups, moving play stations farther apart, and holding classes outdoors, weather permitting.
- Considering temporarily closing the program if we are unable to continue to operate because many staff and children are at home or if CDC or our health department asks us to close to help decrease the spread of flu in our community.
For additional information about flu, call 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit www.flu.gov.
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