Childcare providers are preventing the flu - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Childcare providers are preventing the flu

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According to the Centers for Disease Control each year an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of flu-related complications but local childcare providers are trying to combat that number.

Third graders Carter and Alijah have learned how to wash their hands properly by singing a familiar tune twice.

Susan Kidder has been the school nurse at Roy Guess Elementary for the past 25 years and she says since flu season got an early start she has seen about 20 children with symptoms of the virus.

"We had quite a few before Christmas although it seems to have slowed down some," said Kidder.

And she hopes the decrease comes from their lessons on hygiene and the use of hand sanitizer in each classroom.

"We've also gone through with them if they're coughing to cough into their sleeve," said Kidder.

Kidder says parents need to know if their child has a fever they need to keep them home.

"Especially if they're running fever and coughing because that could be when they're contagious," said Kidder.

"It's the hardest thing to deal with as a daycare we realize the kids are in care because parents need to work," said the owner of Happy Beginnings Daycare Chad Cross.

Cross has to work closely with parents if the child develops a temperature over 100 degrees they have to go home.

He said, "the best way to prevent an outbreak is to catch it early, isolate the kids and then send them home, we just need parents corporation."

Both cross and kidder agree that their best defense against the flu is sanitation, cleaning classrooms and toys everyday, and encouraging the kids to wash up as much as possible.

It's policy at both Roy Guess and the daycare that if a child is sent home sick they need to stay home for at least 24 hours before coming back to prevent spreading the sickness to other children.

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