Child Care Toolkit

Chances are, Patient Zero is in one of your classrooms right now.

You know, Patient Zero: the first child or client in your facility to contract the flu. The one who will likely unknowingly give it to others — and to your staff.

The one who could even die, because flu can and does kill people, especially children.

While the CDC recommends the flu vaccine as the best way to protect against the flu — and advises that everyone over the age of 6 months gets an annual flu vaccine — fewer than 40 percent of Nevadans actually get it.

This is why we’re writing to you today; we are here to ask for your help communicating with your parents and staff, in an effort to increase vaccination rates and keep our community healthy.

Primarily, we are hoping those of you with computerized check-in/out mechanisms will allow us to help craft a brief message to display to parents prior to them being allowed to conduct their check-in business. This will simply be a reminder about the CDC recommendations about flu vaccines — every person over 6 months of age, every year — as well as a reminder about timeliness: the CDC recommends vaccination as soon as vaccines are available, which is now.

The fact is, flu is more than just a bad cold or fever. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death and illness from a vaccine-preventable disease in the United States. According to the CDC:

  • Children commonly need medical care because of influenza, especially before they turn 5 years old.
  • Severe influenza complications are most common in children younger than 2 years old.
  • Annually, an average of 20,000 children under 5 are hospitalized because of flu complications.
  • More than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized and thousands die every year from the influenza virus.
  • Flu causes 38 million lost school days and 111 million lost workdays a year, resulting in more than $7 billion in lost wages.
  • The median age of children who died from the flu virus from Jan. 2014-June 2015 was 5.9 years old.

Keeping your staff healthy is the best way to keep your children — and their parents — happy and healthy as well. By encouraging your staff members to get a flu vaccine, you’re ensuring that they’re able to work and provide for their families, while also protecting those in your care from potentially getting the flu.

Child care providers can support influenza vaccination in their program by:

  • Checking influenza vaccination records regularly to ensure each child in their care is up to date on their vaccinations.
  • Educating staff and ensuring that all staff receive their flu vaccine each season.
  • Educating parents in their program and helping connect them to credible resources.

Take steps TODAY to help you prepare:

Below is a virtual toolkit of materials for use within your organization: 

    1. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for content you can easily share on your own social media outlets.
    2. Newsletter articles and social media posts.
    3. Download the “Ready Wrigley Prepares for Flu Season” Coloring Books
    4. Download the “Are you a Flu Fighter?” Coloring Books
    5. Flu Guide for Parents
    6. Reducing spread of illness in child care settings
    7. AAP resources for parents and child care providers
    8. Be a Germ Stopper Lesson Plans in ENG/SPA

We will continue to provide updated information at www.influencenevada.org/toolkit.

Please give us a call at 775-624-7117 or email info@immunizenevada.org if you have any additional questions. Thank you for your help keeping Nevada healthy!