Schools and Child Care Centers
Children are more likely to need medical care because of the flu, especially before they turn 5 years old. And, severe flu is most common in children younger than 2 years old. The single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Flu vaccination is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older, including adults.
Schools are instrumental in keeping their communities healthy by taking actions such as posting information about hand hygiene and flu prevention, providing flu prevention messages in daily announcements, and being vigilant about cleaning and disinfecting classroom materials.
Help Prevent the Spread of Flu
Here are ways that your school and child care center can help prevent and slow the spread of flu among students, staff and families:
- Encourage staff and students to learn the facts about vaccination and get vaccinated against influenza. And, consider offering flu vaccine at school.
- Advise parents to talk with their health care provider about getting their families immunized.
- Tell staff and parents about Web sites that can help them find DHEC flu clinics and locate clinics offered by other community providers.
- Follow the DHEC exclusion criteria for students and staff with flu or flu like illness.
- Separate ill students and staff from the rest of the school population until they can go home.
- Recommend that staff and parents of children who have flu-like symptoms see their health care provider right away if they are at high risk for complications from the flu. Early treatment with antiviral medications may help lessen the symptoms.
- Follow the advice offered on the CDC’s website on How to clean and disinfect schools to help prevent the spread of flu.
- Download, post and distribute free DHEC flu materials
Flu vaccines are your staff and students’ best protection against the flu.
School-Located Flu Clinics
DHEC is working with VaxCare and several school districts to offer flu vaccinations – mist and shots – to students on school campuses. If your child’s school is participating you’ll receive a parent packet with specific details. But, if you need to read and/or print any of the packet’s items, see our documents and forms page.
Helpful Links for School Flu Planning
- Seasonal flu information for schools and childcare providers
- Guidance for schools to reduce the spread of flu
- Guidance for schools on cleaning and disinfecting to slow the spread of flu
- Free CDC flu resources for schools