Preventing Illness this Winter October 2, 2015 Joslyn Hurm-SullivanFamilies Health & Safety No Comments by Joslyn Hurm-Sullivan, former Education Coordinator and current Deputy Director of Training & Professional Development for Early Learning Indiana Welcome to October! As the weather changes, be sure to take extra steps to help prevent illnesses like the flu. Wash your hands and the hands of your children often and make sure to scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds. Be sure hands are washed after blowing noses and sneezing. You may want to wash pacifiers and toys more often in the coming months as well. Another step is to have your children vaccinated with the Influenza vaccination. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine every season. Call your pediatrician today to learn more. If your child comes down with a fever of 101 or higher please be sure to see your pediatrician and make other arrangements for child care. Many child care programs have a sick policy. You may want to follow up with your child care and refresh your memory of this policy. Some policies include but are not limited to the following: A fever above 101 degrees taken orally (102 degrees taken rectally or 100 degrees taken axillary – armpit) Diarrhea, vomiting, or rash of unknown origin Cold or other illness causing breathing difficulties or other symptoms that prevent the child from participating comfortably in activities Positive reaction to tuberculin skin test Ringworm Conjunctivitis (pink eye) If your child has any of the following symptoms, you will need to wait 24 hours after the symptoms have subsided–without the aid of medication–before returning him or her to child care. Take additional steps like drinking plenty of water, getting as much sleep as possible and eating a healthy diet along with the vaccination to prevent the flu. You also may want to wash down table tops, door handles, and other surfaces more often to stop the spread of germs. Click here to view tips for proper hand washing in child care centers. All child care centers follow this policy. View tips for sanitizing toddler and baby toys here. Cover image by Flickr user Brandon Otto, Creative Commons license.