Tampa day care taking extra steps to keep kids from catching flu

MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 04: A bottle of influenza virus vaccine is seen at the CVS/pharmacy’s MinuteClinic on December 4, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Day care centers are hit especially hard during flu season. Germs are easily spread through sneezes, coughs and slobber.

At the Rosa Valdez Early Childhood Learning Center, we found teachers and administrators taking every precaution possible to help prevent the spread of germs.

“My kids love it! They love the center,” said father of two, Jerry Clerveaux.

He loves what they’re teaching his son Jackson. Several times a day, the 2-year-old steps up to the sink, gets a squirt of soap and washes away the germs.

“It’s very important to wash our hands after runny noses, after going outside, after bathroom breaks,” said the Center’s Director of Early Childhood Education, Denise Richardson.

She says disinfect everything from the doorknobs to the markers.

For the even smaller kids in their nursery, four sinks are constantly being used. One is strictly for washing hands. The others are used to disinfect, rinse and dry items toddlers put in their mouths.

So far, so great! It appears all their efforts are paying off. No sign of the flu bug.

“We have not had any cases yet. I’m praying that we don’t,” said Richardson.

She says one other key to keeping the flu bug outside the fun zone is constant communication with parents.

“Each teacher is in charge of a group that they’re able to talk to those parents privately or as a group,” said Richardson.

That’s something Clerveaux is very thankful for.

“They’re good at communicating with the parents. It lets them know what’s going on with the center, what’s going on with everything,” he said.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says 53 kids have died this season after getting the flu and the rate of hospitalizations are the highest ever recorded.

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