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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.
If you are interested in hosting a school located vaccination clinic, please visit the CDC page on Planning School Located Vaccination Clinics. In addition, you can find more information and resources on how to plan vaccination clinics by visiting the MPDH Vaccine Guidelines and Tools page.
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.
MDPH also created a resource entitled Flu Guide for Parents in English (DOC), Spanish (DOC) and Portuguese (DOC) for parents to understand common questions regarding flu. School nurses can use these resources to fulfill the legislative requirement to provide education on influenza.