Thousands of children younger than 5 years are hospitalized from flu complications every year. CDC estimates that since 2010, flu-related hospitalizations among children younger than 5 years ranged from 6,000 to 26,000 in the United States. Influenza causes more hospitalizations among young children than any other vaccine-preventable disease. The single best way to protect against seasonal flu and its potential severe complications is for children to get a seasonal influenza vaccine each year. Flu vaccination is recommended for all children aged 6 months and older. Making healthy choices at school and at home can help prevent the flu and spreading flu to others. For more information on preventing flu as well as guidance and additional resources visit the CDC page on Influenza Information for Schools and Childcare Providers.
School officials can also learn how to properly clean and disinfect school facilities by visiting the CDC page on How to Clean and Disinfect Schools to Slow the Spread of Flu.
School located vaccination clinics
Flu symptom check list
MDPH created a resource, Flu Symptom Check List for Families, Schools and Child Care Programs (DOC), to determine when a sick child should stay at home and when to return to school.
Flu guide for parents
MDPH flu consent and screening form
MDPH has created sample influenza vaccine consent and screening forms. Such forms are intended to be used in settings where children are vaccinated and the parent/legal guardian is not present. Such setting might include, but are not limited to, school-based clinics, public clinics, or visits to practices when the child is unaccompanied by their parent/legal guardian and no other general consent-to-treat is in place.