Youth Services Law

CDC Guidance on Swine Flu

The CDC has issued an updated bulletin for early childhood programs on how to respond to an outbreak of the H1N1 virus. At the head of the list is vaccinations, both ordinary flu and H1N1 (when available) for staff. Next, the CDC recommends having staff and children stay home for at least 3-5 days after exhibiting flu symptoms. The CDC also recommends frequent health checks, separating staff and children who exhibit flu symptoms, and renewed attention to environmental cleanliness and handwashing.

The most difficult recommendation to follow is likely to be having staff stay home for at least 3-5 days, or longer if the flu symptoms persist. Few schools or child care centers have extra staff sitting around, and finding substitutes on short notice for sick staff members will be a constant challenge. Groups will have to find creative solutions this flu season, whether banding together to share a pool of on-call, trained substitute teachers, or just hiring an extra staff person or two in anticipation of the inevitable illnesses over the next few months.

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