- Many people have health insurance to pay for flu shots. Consider arranging with a local pharmacy to give vaccine to staff members and families who use the child care facility. Offer to pay something toward the cost of the vaccine for those who don’t have insurance. The cost of substitutes, and lost revenue from prolonged absence for illness will greatly exceed the relatively low cost of influenza vaccine.
- Contact your local health department to ask how your facility can find out quickly when outbreaks start to occur in your community.
- Set up an alert system to share information when episodes of infectious disease increase in a group in the child care facility.
- Use the Quick Reference Sheet about influenza from Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, 3rd edition to inform staff members and parents. This award winning, spiral-bound book has more than 50 easy-to-understand, reproducible handouts, sample letters and forms. Fall is a good time to offer useful handouts to families and staff members. You can order Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, 3rd edition from the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org. To order it by phone, call 888-227-1770.
Read updated information and download free materials on the website of the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/flu, and http://www.cdc.gov/flu/freeresources/print-general.htm. ECELS suggests choosing the following three materials that might be particularly useful in child care:
- Who should get a flu shot? http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/general/p_universal_question_officeprint.pdf – a good poster, 24 x 18 inches, 9 MB file
- Take 3 Actions http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/updated/take3-poster.pdf– a bit wordy single page to use for a poster. Good as a flyer and possibly as a poster somewhere people can stand and read the details, 11 x 17 inches, 232 KB file
- Everyday Preventive Actions that can help fight germs like the flu: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/updated/everyday_preventive.pdf -a two page brochure with good content, but unlikely to be read if posted, 8.5 x 11 inches, 1.5 MB file