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Information for Schools & Childcare Providers

The single best way to protect against seasonal flu and its potential severe complications is for children to get a seasonal influenza vaccine each year.

Educators and staff can help slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like colds, enterovirus D68 and influenza (flu). On this page, you will find information on preventing the flu as well as materials and tools for schools.

Thousands of children younger than 5 years are hospitalized from flu complications every year. CDC estimates that since 2010, flu-related hospitalizations among children younger than 5 years ranged from 6,000 to 26,000 in the United States. Influenza causes more hospitalizations among young children than any other vaccine-preventable disease. The single best way to protect against seasonal flu and its potential severe complications is for children to get a seasonal influenza vaccine each year. Flu vaccination is recommended for all children aged 6 months and older. Making healthy choices at school and at home can help prevent the flu and spreading flu to others.

Encourage children, parents, and staff to take the following everyday preventive actions [2 MB, 2 pages]:

  • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after use and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve, not your hand.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.

Guidance and Resources

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School Materials and Posters

Cover Your Cough Materials

Cover Your Cough See the Cover Your Cough page on this site for posters and flyers formatted for use in schools.

“Are you a flu fighter?” Coloring Book

Illustration of a boy Coloring Book PDF: “Are you a flu fighter?” English [8.3 MB, 14 pages], “Eres un luchador contra la influenza?” Spanish [4 MB, 14 pages]

“It’s a SNAP” Toolkit

Its a SNAP Toolkit “It’s a SNAP” [4.62 MB, 10 pages]
This toolkit provides activities for school administrators, teachers, students, and others to help stop the spread of germs in schools. For more information, visit the hand cleaning section of the “It’s a SNAP” website.

Scrub Club

NSF Scrub Club, Kids can learn about health and hygiene at the Scrub Club™ web site. The site features a fun and educational animated Webisode with seven “soaper-heros” who battle nasty villains representing germs and bacteria. Kids learn the six key steps to proper handwashing through a webisode, a handwashing song, interactive games, and activities for kids. Educational materials for teachers are also available to download.