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Author Topic: H1N1 day care practices set by WHO  (Read 1575 times)

Offline spud

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H1N1 day care practices set by WHO
« on: July 24, 2009, 01:00:46 PM »
The World Health Organization has raised the influenza pandemic alert to phase 6. This means that a

pandemic is confirmed and the H1N1 flu virus has now spread in a sustained way outside of North

America. Calling it a pandemic indicates geographic spread and does not reflect the severity of illness.

More than half of the cases both locally and in the province are under 20 years of

age. We expect that the H1N1 flu virus will continue to spread and to see more cases locally.

What does this mean for child care programs?

Child care programs should enforce illness policies that are already in place. When children are being

dropped off, screen them for signs and symptoms of respiratory illness. If they are ill, do not allow them

to attend the program. As well, child care staff who are ill should not report to work.

How is H1N1 flu virus spread?

Influenza is spread by coughing and sneezing within two metres/six feet of another person without

covering your mouth, and by touching contaminated hard surfaces and then touching your mouth and

nose. Young children are particularly likely to come into contact with viruses because of their close

social circles of play; not always covering their coughs or sneezes; and not washing their hands. In

particular, child care and school children are at risk of both contracting influenza and spreading influenza

in the event of an outbreak.

What are the signs and symptoms?

H1N1 signs and symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza. Children with influenza will often look ill

and most likely will not be able to participate in normal activities. Infants and young children can become

quite ill with influenza very quickly, and might require urgent medical attention. If a child has difficulty

breathing, is lethargic, or appears to be worsening rapidly, consider calling a physician or 911 in addition

to notifying a parent.

To help you distinguish between flu, cold, and gastroenteritis, please refer to the chart

Symptoms/Description Flu/ Cold /Gastro

Fever Almost always*/ Rare/ Sometimes

Chills, aches, pains Frequent/ Sometimes /Frequent

Loss of appetite Sometimes/ Sometimes /Frequent

Cough Almost always /Frequent /Rare

Sore throat Sometimes/ Sometimes/ Rare

Sniffles or sneezes Sometimes/ Frequent /Rare

Nausea or vomiting Sometimes** /Rare /Almost always

Diarrhea Rare** Rare /Almost /always

Symptoms appear quickly /Yes /No/ Sometimes

Extreme tiredness Frequent /Rare /Sometimes

Complications Pneumonia, can be

life threatening  /Sinus infection Ear infection/


Immunization available Yes(flu shot free)/No/ Yes(rotavirus vaccine

not free)

*For children under age five and the elderly, flu is a severe illness. Fever may not be particularly

noticeable in children under five years of age or adults aged 65 years and older.

**More likely to occur in children under five years of age.

How long should someone stay home who is ill?

1. Persons with confirmed novel H1N1 Influenza A should stay home for 24 hours after symptoms

are gone or for seven days following onset of illness
, whichever is shorter.

2. For all other situations where someone has influenza-like illness symptoms they should stay home

until symptom free for 24 hours.
How can we prevent the spread of H1N1 flu virus?

There are common practices that can be done to minimize the spread of influenza in child care programs

and schools. Remind staff and children to:

Cover coughs or sneezes with their arm or sleeve.

Wash hands regularly with soap and water or an alcohol handrub in the classroom and always

before snacks and meals.

Keep the child care environment clean, and clean frequently touched surfaces, toys, and commonly

shared items at least daily and when visibly soiled.

For more information:

You can get more information about H1N1 flu virus on the following websites:

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care:

Public Health Agency of Canada:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

World Health Organization:

« Last Edit: July 24, 2009, 01:05:17 PM by spud »


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