Educators and staff can help slow the spread of colds and flu. On this page, you will find more information on preventing the flu, as well as materials and tools for schools.
Always remind children to:
- Cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze—have them throw the tissue away after they use it.
- Wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. If water is not near, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Remind them to not to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread this way.
- Approximately 1/5 of the U.S. population attends or works in schools. (U.S. Dept of Ed, 1999).
- Some viruses and bacteria can live from 20 minutes up to 2 hours or more on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks. (Ansari, 1988; Scott and Bloomfield, 1989)
- Nearly 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold alone. (CDC, 1996)
- Addressing the spread of germs in schools is essential to the health of our youth, our schools, and our nation.
- Students need to get plenty of sleep and physical activity, drink water, and eat good food to help them stay healthy in the winter and all year.
- Preventing the Spread of Influenza (the Flu) in Child Care Settings: Guidance for Administrators, Care Providers, and Other Staff
Flu recommendations for schools and child care providers.
- Children and the Flu
Children can become very sick from the flu. CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine to protect from this virus.
- Protecting Against the Flu: Advice for Caregivers of Young Children
Research has shown that children less than 5 years of age are at high risk of serious flu-related complications.
- Stopping Germs at Home, Work and School
- Snort. Sniffle. Sneeze. Antibiotics are not always the answer!
Explains why antibiotics will not cure a cold or the flu.
School Materials and Posters
Cover Your Cough Materials
Visit the Cover Your Cough website for posters and flyers.
"It's a SNAP" Toolkit
Program materials to help prevent school absenteeism.
Activities for school administrators, teachers, students and others can do to help stop the spread of germs in schools. See the handcleaning section of the "It's a SNAP" site at www.itsasnap.org.
Kids can learn about health and hygiene and become members of the Scrub Club(tm) at www.scrubclub.org. The site features a fun and educational animated Webisode with seven "soaper-heros" who battle nasty villains who represent germs and bacteria. Kids learn the six key steps to proper handwashing through a webisode, handwashing song, interactive games, activities for kids and educational materials for teachers are also available to download.