Cough. Sneeze. Cough. Sneeze.
These are the last sounds you want to hear coming out of your students' mouths in your classroom. CDC.gov states that flu viruses spread most often during the fall and winter months. Flu season often peaks in December and February. While most flu activity stops around March, it can last as late as May in colder areas.
Ways to protect your students from the flu
Encourage students to get the seasonal influenza vaccine every year. Does your school offer flu shots already? If not, consider setting up a vaccination day. You can even create songs and activities to show students that being healthy can be fun.
The common symptoms of the flu are fever, sore throat, body aches, cough, runny nose, tiredness, headache and chills. If any of your students are exhibiting these signs, it may already be too late for the vaccine. You should send them home immediately. Notify all your students' parents ahead of time. Urge them to keep their children at home if they suspect they are coming down with the flu. These students can avoid getting their peers sick as well.
Help keep your classroom from suffering through a flu outbreak this season. Here are three other preventive methods you can put in place:
Encourage good hand hygiene. Many times a day, take your students to the bathroom so they can wash their hands with soap and water. It is especially important to wash hands upon arrival. Before and after eating. After using the bathroom. And after coming inside from outdoor play. Want to make sure everyone at your child care knows the right way to wash their hands? Take our Handwashing: Clean Hands, Better Health course. You'll learn methods to teach children to wash their hands to stop the spread of yucky viruses.
Encourage the "Dracula" cough and sneeze technique. Like the famous vampire, encourage your students to act like him and cough into their arm. This will keep bacteria from spreading around. Meanwhile, have tissues placed around the classroom. Students can grab one and sneeze or blow their nose if they feel the need. Require them to throw used tissues in the trash immediately after use. Then wash their hands.
Encourage classroom cleanliness. Wipe down all surfaces and objects before and after class with sanitizing wipes. This helps to prevent germ buildup. This is especially important if one of your students is exhibiting classic cold or flu signs. Tell your students to avoid touching their mouths, noses and eyes, as this is another way germs spread.
The flu virus spreads whenever someone with the virus talks, sneezes, or coughs on another person. For those infected with the flu, they can remain contagious for five to seven days.
Consider taking these online child care courses:
Research by health organizations around the world has shown that proper hand washing can stop germs from making us sick. In programs where children learn early life lessons, teachers have the opportunity to encourage hand washing as a lifelong habit.
Keeping children healthy is an essential part of providing high quality learning environments. This one-hour course will provide an overview of how you can protect children and yourself against infectious diseases. Say goodbye to yucky germs.