Influenza

 

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Invitation
Schools and the Flu
Free Materials
Using the Materials

Flu Vaccine Promotion Materials for PTAs

We invite PTAs to partner with us in this family- and community-oriented campaign to say “No!” to flu.

The PTA and PKIDs are committed to keeping kids healthy and in school because attendance, as we all know, is the cornerstone to a successful academic year. Flu’s Gonna Lose is a campaign designed to help families stay healthy and productive during influenza season.

PKIDs encourages PTAs to use the materials found on this webpage as tools to keep your schools as flu-free as possible this year. Please adapt the materials in anyway you like—there are no restrictions for their use.

If you would like assistance, please contact our office and we’ll be happy to help you.

SCHOOLS AND THE FLU

Every year in the United States, on average:

  • 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu;

     

  • more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications; and

     

  • about 36,000 people die from flu.

Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.

Studies show that otherwise healthy but unvaccinated daycare and school-age children are prime targets for influenza, or what is more commonly called “the flu.” School populations are eight times denser than offices and 10 times denser than homes, making them prime breeding grounds for the spread of influenza.

Once infected, children, particularly preschoolers, shed more influenza viruses than do infected adults, and they do so for longer periods of time. This explains why they are so often at the center of an outbreak in the family or the community.

Since one-fifth of the U.S. population attends or works in schools, schools are a primary source of infection and possibly the primary source of infection.

When children become infected, unvaccinated household members quickly follow suit, leading to missed school days, missed work, doctor visits and sometimes hospital visits.

It’s difficult to identify this vaccine-preventable disease from other upper respiratory ailments, such as colds, because the symptoms can be so similar. Prevention is key to maintaining a healthy environment during flu season.

There are simple steps we can take to keep ourselves, our loved ones and those around us as healthy as possible during flu season:

  • Get vaccinated. Every year a new vaccine is developed to combat that year’s particular influenza virus, so annual immunization is necessary.

     

  • Wash hands. Frequent handwashing keeps lots of germs out of our bodies, including the influenza virus. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer.

     

  • Stay home if you don’t feel well. Should you become infected, keep the germs from spreading by staying home and don’t forget to take care of yourself.

     

  • Use tissues to block a sneeze or cough. If no tissues are available, use your sleeve. This helps prevent the spread of germs. Don’t forget to wash your hands afterward, even if using a tissue.

FREE MATERIALS

We encourage PTAs to use these materials as they like and offer them ready-to-go with the insertion of your PTA’s information. Please feel free to keep or remove PKIDs’ information, as it is more important to us that the health message gets out to families than for our name to be on that message. The choice is yours.

Each title is a link to a Word document that may be downloaded for your use. Please pass these on to others who would find them useful.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please look for the yellow highlighted text in each document as that is where you will insert the name of your PTA or school; or you will find instructions that you will then need to delete from the text after reading. Some documents contain highlighted text only at the bottom in small font.

Flu Facts
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a straightforward look at influenza and the vaccine that prevents infection.

About Influenza
A question-and-answer document providing a more in-depth look at the influenza virus and its complications.

Flu and Schools
School-specific tools for preventing the spread of influenza.

Flu Vaccine
A question and answer document about the vaccine used to prevent influenza infection.

School Administration Letter
Sample letter from the local PTA asking the school administrator or superintendent to assist in raising awareness about influenza and methods of preventing infection.

Press Release
Sample press release for use by local PTA to alert community members to the Flu’s Gonna Lose campaign and the importance of prevention.

Parent Letter
Sample letter alerting parents and students to the oncoming flu season and providing tips for staying healthy.

School Vaccine Clinics
A how-to guide on setting up a flu vaccine clinic in your school to inform students and family members about influenza and vaccination and to provide immunizations to those wanting protection.

PSAs
These scripts are used by radio announcers as public service announcements. They are usually happy to help and it’s free!

USING THE MATERIALS

PTAs excel at reaching their students and families with important information throughout the year. We offer the following suggestions for determining how best to use the Flu’s Gonna Lose materials.

Late August/Early September

Send the school administrator or superintendent the letter requesting their support in educating students and their families about influenza and methods of prevention. Be sure to include provided fact sheets and information about the upcoming flu clinic.

Late September
 
Send the parent letter home with students, along with all or even a small portion of that letter inserted into a school newsletter in the early Fall.

Set up a section on the PTA website displaying the provided informative sheets on influenza and methods of prevention.

Appoint a committee to set up a flu clinic at the school just after Thanksgiving. They’ll need to be working on it now to get everything in place when the time comes.

October
 
Send home the Flu Facts sheet for parents and students.

Distribute the press release to health reporters or editors with the local and regional media. A call to the newspaper or TV or radio station will give you the name of the health reporter or editor, along with their preferred method of contact and the email address or fax number to use when sending the release.

Reaching out to the community through the media is a great way to alert extended family members to the need for practicing prevention when it comes to influenza.
  
Send the PSAs along with some of the information sheets to the health reporters and editors at the radio stations. Simply call the radio stations and ask for the PSA recipient’s name and contact information. Include the cover letter explaining why you feel it’s important for them to air the provided information.

Post reminders around school about the upcoming flu clinic.

Mid-November

Send a reminder home with students that there will be a flu vaccine clinic at school, with date(s) and times listed.

Late November/Early December

This is a time that CDC will be pushing for folks to make sure and get their flu vaccine if they haven’t already done so. It would be an ideal time for the PTA to do the same by holding their school flu vaccine clinic.

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Information is the power
parents have over disease.