Tips To Prepare for Cold and Flu Season
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin
The season for colds and flu is upon us and rarely has the manners to spare anyone! Prevention is key. Here are some practical tips to help you get equipped to battle the bugs this time of year.
- Create a Seasonal Survival Kit – this means stocking up on supplies such as tissues, hand soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and anti-bacterial wipes. It’s always best to get more than you think you’ll use because supplies go fast!
- Disinfect – Always wipe down surfaces such as craft tables, play areas, favorite toys, doorknobs, and wash stations. “Flu viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours.” according to Melody Butler, R.N., S.N., from the Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in New York.
- Set up Sanitizer Stations – Stock a bottle of hand sanitizer (with a minimum of 60% alcohol) in all public areas – this includes classrooms, bathrooms, and children’s check-in areas. It’s best to highlight the sanitizer stations with eye-catching signage which could read, “Be Alert, Take A Squirt” or something along those lines to remind people to use as needed.
- Organize Additional Support – Start early and staff up with extra volunteers. Extra help that is ready to go is helpful for those last minute needs to cover for those who are unable to volunteer.
- Reduce the Spread Sickness – Encourage volunteers who aren’t feeling well to refrain from working this will help stop the spread of germs. Hold the line and say no to parents who want to check-in sniffling, sneezing, and coughing toddlers.
- Ramp Up Communication: Make sure parents are aware of your “well child” policy. Have it posted during cold/flu season and make sure to send an email before the season starts asking for their help in keeping your organization a great place for kids. It’s also important to have a plan in place to effectively communicate with parents in the event of an outbreak.
- Stay Current on the Latest Health Recommendations – Place yourself on the mailing list for your local health department this will keep you updated on what’s going on in your area regarding colds and flu. If time permits find and visit health information sites and share your findings with staff, volunteers, and families.