Guidance for Child Care, Schools and Colleges

School administrators, teachers, staff and parents can understandably be concerned about influenza and its spread in close-encounter settings.

Influenza causes more hospitalizations among young children than any other vaccine-preventable disease. The single best way to protect against seasonal flu and potential severe complications is for children to get a seasonal influenza vaccine each year. Flu vaccination is recommended for all children aged 6 months and older.

Making healthy choices at school and at home can help prevent the flu and spreading flu to others. Encourage children, parents and staff to take the following actions to prevent flu:

  • Practice the 3 Ws - Wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth. Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Stay home when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.

More information

Child cares, schools and colleges should follow COVID-19 guidelines to also help slow the spread of the flu and other respiratory illness. Information can be found on the NCDHHS COVID-19 website and the CDC website. Specific guidance is below:

Last Modified: October 15, 2020