AAP suggests that childcare centers should get ready for flu season now
CINCINNATI (WKRC) – The flu is not likely on your mind as the weather warms up, but there is important new research recently released on “fighting the flu.”
While everyone is hopefully months away from the flu season, both the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Centers for Disease Control say that “now” is actually the best time for many places to start “preparing for next year’s flu season.”
The AAP released a study on Monday that is looking at one place where kids are at risk of helping to spread the flu if there is an outbreak, and that happens to be childcare centers.
The AAP wanted to find out if more could be done in daycares if there were a flu “pandemic.”
They found only about seven percent of directors of childcare centers actually take action in their daycare centers ahead of time for a flu pandemic.
A “pandemic” occurs when a “new” strain of the flu starts going around, to which most of the population is not immune.
It starts often in those vulnerable, such as children, and then spreads rapidly.
That means getting a seasonal flu vaccine won’t help because it's a strain that wouldn't be covered.
This study looked at what else daycares could do to stop the spread and found most are not prepared.
So now, to help childcare centers, a series of web-based training sessions and certifications are being suggested to help. Those would need to be taken right now to get ready for flu season.
These include having things immediately available to protect against infection,
Emergency notification systems for parents that notify those who are sick to stay home and even having extra fluids or symptom management medications around.
They say parents should know that this is something important for childcare centers, so it's okay if you want to ask about some of these things at your child’s daycare.
We have a list of some of the suggested ways to prepare for a pandemic on our website here.