The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes that school administrators, teachers, staff, and parents are concerned about influenza (flu), particularly its effects on children. Educators and staff can help slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like colds, enterovirus D68 and influenza (flu). On this page, you will find information on preventing the flu as well as materials and tools for schools.
Guidance for School Administrators
Guidance to help reduce the spread of seasonal flu among students and staff in K-12 schools.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Schools
Guide for K-12 schools with tips on how to clean to help slow the spread of seasonal flu.
School-Located Vaccination Clinics
Resource for school-located vaccination clinic planners, including, forms and pre-drafted letters.
Influenza causes more hospitalizations among young children than any other vaccine-preventable disease. The single best way to protect against seasonal flu and its 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 everyday preventive actions to prevent flu [2MB, 2 pages]:
- Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands 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 surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
Resources on Common Flu Topics for School Administrators, Teachers, Staff, and Parents
General Information about Flu:
- What you need to know about flu
- What is the difference between cold & flu
- What are symptoms and emergency warning signs of flu
- Information for the 2018-2019 season
Preventing & Treating Flu:
- Children, flu, and flu vaccines
- How to Prevent Flu
- What you need to know about flu vaccines
- What you need to know about flu antiviral drugs
Other CDC Resources
- Supplemental Interim Guidance for School Administrators Associated with Possible Outbreaks of H3N2 Variant Influenza Virus (“H3N2v”)
- Good Health Habits for Preventing Seasonal Flu
- Flu Information for Parents
- Children, the Flu, and the Flu Vaccine
- Protecting Against the Flu: Advice for Caregivers of Children Less Than 6 Months Old
- School-Located Vaccination Clinics: Forms and Contact Letters
- Print Resources for Parents
- The Flu: A Guide for Parents Factsheet [566 KB, 2 pages, 8.5″ x 11″]
- Keep Flu Out of School
- Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS): Flu Season and Schools
- The Shot by Shot Project: Gigi’s Story
- National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: Flu Fighters Coloring books [9.13 MB, 14 pages]
- Healthy Schools, Healthy People: It’s a SNAP! Handwashing toolkit
- National Sanitation Foundation: Scrub Club™ web site