Friday, December 8, 2017

The Flu is here! Best Practices for your Daycare.

The 2017-2018 flu season is off to an early start in Missouri. As of November 25, 2017, there were 1,545 cases of the flu reported to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, compared to 379 cases reported at the same time last year.

What to do in your Daycare to help avoid the flu:

Due to increasing reports of flu and gastrointestinal illnesses throughout Platte County and the Kansas City metro area, we wanted to remind you to make an extra effort to practice good hygiene measures throughout flu season:


  • Promote regular handwashing at work and at home, particularly after handling used tissues or using the restroom and before eating or preparing food.  Handwashing is the best way to prevent the spread of communicable disease!
  • If you or your kids have a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, stay home from work or school until at least 24 hours after symptoms end.
  • Perform routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched environmental surfaces and equipment as well as high-traffic areas:
    • Frequently touched surfaces include, but are not limited to, commodes, toilets, faucets, hand railing, telephones, door handles, computer equipment, and kitchen preparation surfaces.
    • Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection frequently touched surfaces when there are many sick children (e.g., increase cleaning to twice daily to maintain cleanliness, with frequently touched surfaces cleaned and disinfected three times daily).
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces starting from the areas with a lower likelihood of contamination (e.g., tray tables, counter tops) to areas with highly contaminated surfaces (e.g., toilets, bathroom fixtures).
    • Change mop heads when a new bucket of cleaning solution is prepared, or after cleaning large spills of vomit or fecal material.
    • Consider avoiding the use of upholstered furniture and rugs or carpets, as these objects are difficult to clean and disinfect completely. If this option is not possible, immediately clean soilage, such as vomit or fecal material, from upholstery, using a manufacturer-approved cleaning agent or detergent.  Consider discarding items that cannot be appropriately cleaned/disinfected.
  • After throwing up or having diarrhea, immediately clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces.
    • Use a chlorine bleach solution (see attached, or page 40 of the Prevention and Control of Communicable Disease Manual) or other disinfectant registered as effective against norovirus by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
    • PCHD and the Missouri Department of Health do not recommend using Clorox wipes or other disinfectant wipes(scented or unscented), as they can increase incidence of asthma in students and cause other allergic reactions.