According to the CDC, the flu season peaks from December through March, but can last through May. That means you have six months every year when flu prevention should be top of mind.
Anyone can get the flu, but school-aged children are at a much higher risk for contracting and spreading the virus because of the dense populations in school buildings. However, with a few preventative measures, you can help keep the flu virus from spreading.
Below we’ve outlined flu prevention tips to help you prevent the spread of flu in your school or daycare.
Flu Prevention Tips for Schools
1. Encourage your staff and students to get flu vaccines.
The single best way to prevent the spread of flu is to get a flu vaccine. According to the CDC, it is recommended everyone 6 months and older receive the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against three or four influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.
2. Stop the spread of flu by disinfecting surfaces.
Ensure you are disinfecting surfaces properly. Many people aren’t trained in proper disinfecting techniques, but it’s incredibly important for the janitorial staff and teachers in schools to understand how to disinfect.
Many people when cleaning a surface simply spray a disinfectant and immediately wipe it up. However, when you do this you’re likely leaving lots of germs behind. This is because disinfectants have specific dwell times they have to reach in order to disinfect.
To ensure you are disinfecting properly read the label of every disinfectant before you use it to understand how long the disinfectant needs to dwell on a surface before it’s wiped up. And, for more information on how to disinfect and dwell times of disinfectants, read Dwell Time: What Is It And Why It’s Important.
3. Teach students about germs and proper handwashing techniques.
Teach students how to properly wash their hands with soap and water and avoid touching their face. Teachers should also consider including time for handwashing in student schedules throughout the day.
For information on handwashing, read How to Maintain a Healthy Child Care Environment with Proper Hygiene.
4. Establish hand sanitizing stations around the school and in classrooms.
By making hand sanitizer readily accessible you will be able to maintain the healthiest, germ-free school or classroom possible. Hand sanitizer stations allow staff and students to sanitize their hands throughout the day and while they’re on-the-go, without touching a hand sanitizer bottle.
5. Lastly, encourage your staff and students to stay home when they’re sick.
Encourage staff and students alike to keep their distance and stay home if they’re sick. Sick persons should say home at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever. This may mean adjusting school policies to offer flexible sick leave so people aren’t penalized for staying home when they’re ill.
For more information about keeping illness out of schools and cleaning products for schools, read School Cleaning Supplies Every School Staff Need.