School nurse group launches influenza educational campaign

August 11, 2006

With children two to three times more likely than adults to become ill with the flu and spread the virus to others, the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) has launched a program to educate parents and students about influenza. "Don't Get Sidelined by the Flu," includes educational materials-in English and Spanish-for school nurses to share with parents and students to raise awareness about flu prevention, recognition of symptoms, and treatment options.

With children two to three times more likely than adults to become ill with the flu and spread the virus to others, the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) has launched a program to educate parents and students about influenza. "Don't Get Sidelined by the Flu," includes educational materials-in English and Spanish-for school nurses to share with parents and students to raise awareness about flu prevention, recognition of symptoms, and treatment options.

You'll find the NASN materials pertinent to your practice, too, in your talks with parents about flu and other infections that spread through school contacts. The materials are easy to obtain by download.

"Classrooms are a breeding ground for contagious viruses such as flu, which is why addressing the spread in schools is essential to the health of students, schools, and communities as a whole," said Susan Will, RN, MPH, president of NASN. "School nurses play a crucial role in helping to stop the spread of flu in the classroom, including teaching parents and children about practicing healthy habits."

Flu continues to cause a high rate of absenteeism in America's 119,000 schools. In the United States alone, approximately 22 million school days are lost each year due to colds, flu, and other infections. In addition to keeping children home from school and hurting academic performance, infections such as the flu also place an increased burden on parents and teachers, causing them to either get sick themselves or stay home to care for their sick child.

The new "Don't Get Sidelined by the Flu" educational materials are supported by an educational grant from Roche. Find them for download at www.nasn.org.