Preventing the Flu

5 Questions Every Parent Should Ask Their School

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 childrenwith 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 recommended.
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.

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.
• An annual flu vaccine is
recommended for everyone
six months and older.
• Everyone should have their flu
shot by Oct. 31 every year.
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.

Cleaning Protocols for Germs in the Classroom
As we’re in the midst of cold and flu season, it’s time for us to be even more conscious of the harmful germs
that pop up this time of year—which means stepping up your cleaning conduct and approaching germs in the
classroom and at home the right way. To understand how to properly kill bacteria on the surfaces teachers and
students encounter every day, it’s important to recognize how they got there and how to keep them at bay.
Here are three Healthy Habits tips from Lysol and the National Parent Teacher Association to keep in mind this
time of year:

Know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting.
According to the CDC1, cleaning and disinfecting are part of a broad approach to preventing infectious
diseases in schools. But what is the difference between these two methods?
Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or
detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill
germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using specialized products to kill germs
on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing
germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Lysol Disinfectant Spray
and Lysol Disinfecting Wipes can be used to eliminate germs on commonly-touched hard and soft surfaces.

Don’t underestimate the impact of germs on a classroom desk.
According to a recent research study led by Yale University and the University of Tulsa, harmful bacteria and
fungi are commonly discovered in indoor environments. What’s more? Our bodies are common sources for
bringing them in2. Taking it a step further, when the researchers specifically explored classrooms and desk
surfaces, their work revealed that keeping the desks clean significantly reduced the bacteria found on surfaces.
A study by the University of Arizona reported that uncleaned classrooms, as opposed to those cleaned daily
with a disinfectant, result in students who are more likely to be absent due to illness3. A more recent study
published by researchers from University of Florida reported, the frequently touched surfaces of a classroom
that are cleaned daily in the morning contained a cold causing virus, which highlights redeposition of the virus
post-cleaning, an ineffective cleaning regimen used and the need to disinfect high-touched surfaces multiple
time during the day4. Lysol Disinfecting Wipes kill 99.9% of germs including the cold and flu virus, which can
live on hard surfaces for up 48 hours a day.

Remember that kids bring germs home from school, too.
Just as children can bring germs into the classroom, germs can also be transmitted from school to home–
consider your child’s backpack that sits on the school bathroom floor and then on your kitchen countertop,
or the classroom door knobs your child touches before they use the television remote at home. Cleaning
practices at home are just as critical as those that should be practiced in the classroom. After all, the places
that need the most cleaning are also the places your family spends the most time—whether that’s in the
house or school!

Beat the Bug: Tips to
Help Prevent the Flu

Every day a child is absent from school, they
miss out on valuable educational lessons. Taking
these five simple steps for staying healthy
during flu season can help stop germs from
spreading—and children from missing school
due to illnesses like cold and flu.
1. Get your flu shot.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for
everyone six months and older. It’s the first
and most important way to prevent flu.
2. Help prevent the spread of germs.
Help protect yourself from contagious illnesses:
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue
when you cough or sneeze.
• Wash your hands with soap and warm water.
• Remind children to avoid touching their eyes,
nose or mouth.
• Send supplies of box top eligible Lysol
Disinfecting Wipes & Lysol Disinfectant Spray
to your child’s classroom for disinfecting germ
hot spots like desks, chairs, door knobs and
bathrooms Lysol Disinfectant Spray kills cold
and flu viruses* on hard surfaces.
3. Avoid sick people and stay home if you
are sick.
To stay healthy, it’s important for children to
avoid other students who are coughing or
sneezing, and to stay home if they’re sick.
4. Reinforce healthy habits at home.
As a parent, you can help fight the spread of
germs by diligently cleaning and disinfecting
countertops and frequently-touched surfaces
like doorknobs and light switches. Also,
disinfect items with Lysol Disinfectant Spray
that your child brings home from school—such
as backpacks—to help prevent germs from
spreading to other surfaces in the home.