Health and education experts offer this guidance to school officials and staff members on dealing with influenza:
- Advise students, teachers, or other employees suspected of having the flu not to attend school. Exclude sick students from sports, choir, and other activities that may involve close contact.
- Closing individual schools in the event of an outbreak has not proved to be an effective way of stopping the flu; weigh other considerations in making those decisions.
- Allow regular breaks for students and teachers to wash their hands. Instruct and help young children to ensure proper hand washing. Check restrooms regularly to make sure that soap and paper towels are always available.
- Make sure tissues are available in all classrooms and on school buses. Students and employees should cover their mouths when coughing and use tissues when sneezing or blowing their noses. Tissues should be thrown away promptly, followed by proper hand washing. (Alcohol hand gels may be used for convenience.)
- Clean commonly used surfaces in school buildings and on buses, such as door handles, handrails, cafeteria tables, and desks, frequently with disinfectant. Bleach solutions or commercial disinfectants are appropriate.
- Remind students and staff members to avoid sharing glasses, drink bottles, or eating utensils.