Help Prevent the Flu: 5 Questions Every Parent Should Ask Their School

Flu Fast Facts
The flu can affect anyone, young or
old, at any time—even otherwise
healthy individuals.
Flu viruses can cause illness
from early October to late May,
however seasonal flu activity
most commonly peaks between
December and March.
The best way to prevent the flu is
to get a flu shot every year.
SS An annual flu vaccine is
recommended for everyone
six months and older.
SS Everyone should have their
flu shot by Oct. 31 every
The flu shot does not cause the
flu. The vaccine typically takes 2
weeks to reach full strength, so
if someone is exposed to the flu
virus during that time, they may
still get sick.
Children share close quarters inside schools,
making it easier for them to spread germs
and get sick. Schools therefore have a big role
to play in flu prevention education, and safely
managing and containing flu outbreaks when
they occur.

Questions to Ask Your Principal About Your
School’s Flu Prevention Practices

1. Does our school have a full-time nurse?
TIP Many schools still do not have a full-time nurse, so all staff should be taught
the signs and symptoms of flu, emergency warning signs, high-risk groups, and
what to do to in the event of an outbreak (e.g., separate sick students and staff from
others until they can be picked up.)
2. Does our school provide information to families on where to get the
flu shot?
TIP HealthMap Vaccine Finder ( is a free, online service where
users can search for locations that offer immunizations.
3. What is our school’s policy on children with the flu returning to school?
TIP It is recommended that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is
gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine. A fever is defined as 100°F (37.8°C)
or higher.
4. How often are “germ hot spots” like desks, chairs, doorknobs and
bathrooms disinfected?
TIP Germs can last on some hard surfaces for up to 48 hours, yet are relatively
fragile, so standard cleaning and disinfecting practices are enough to remove or
kill them. Daily disinfecting on surfaces and objects that are touched often with
products like Lysol Disinfectant Spray helps to remove germs, try it on things like
desks, countertops, doorknobs, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones,
and toys. Cleaning specific areas of the school daily, including bathrooms, is also
5. How are students educated on how to avoid the spread of germs and
prevent flu?
TIP Students and staff should be taught, and reminded e.g., posters, take home
fliers), to stay away from people who are sick; cover their cough and sneezes with a
tissue or bent arm; wash their hands often with soap and water for 15-20 seconds;
not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth; and to stay home when sick.
This document was published in collaboration with Lysol, Proud National Sponsor of National PTA.
*All of the data in this document was sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more at