Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 7: Infectious Diseases

7.3 Respiratory Tract Infections

7.3.3 Influenza Influenza Prevention Education

The child care facility should provide refresher training for all staff and children to include emphasis on the value of influenza vaccine, respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette, and hand hygiene at the beginning of each influenza season (usually considered to be September or October with a peak in February and March). Staff and children should be encouraged to practice these behaviors. Necessary equipment and supplies (e.g., disposable tissues and hand hygiene materials) should be made available.
Although immunization is the single best way to prevent influenza, appropriate hygiene including respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette, and hand hygiene have been shown to reduce spread of respiratory tract infections.

In order to be effective, hygiene-based interventions need to be periodically reinforced. Influenza immunizations are recommended for healthy children and adolescents six months through eighteen years of age, for all adults including household contacts and caregivers/teachers of all children younger than five years and health care professionals (1).

For more information, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Preventing the Spread of Influenza (the Flu) in Child Care Settings: Guidance for Administrators, Care Providers, and Other Staff” at
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2010. Update: Recommendations of the ACIP regarding use of CSL seasonal influenza vaccine (Afluria) in the United States during 2010-2011. MMWR 59 (31): 989-92.