​​Influenza can spread quickly in schools and early childhood centres, due to the close proximity of children. To minimize the spread of infection, schools and childcare services should educate staff and students about good hygiene practices.

See the influenza fact sheet for general influenza information.

Stop the spread of influenza in schools and early childhood centers

To stop the spread of influenza, there are effective measures that students and staff can take:

  • ctay at home when sick with cold and flu symptoms
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands.
  • wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective
  • avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth
  • clean frequently touched surfaces particularly when people are sick.

It's recommended that everyone aged 6 months and over gets an annual flu shot to protect themselves from influenza. All children aged from 6 months to under five years of age are eligible for free a flu shot in NSW. Read more about this immunisation initiative or refer to the National Immunisation Program.

Children with special needs

Children with special needs (such as chronic illnesses or neurological disorders) may be at higher risk of developing complications from influenza. Encourage these children to seek early medical advice if they become unwell with influenza symptoms. Influenza vaccination is especially important for these children.

If your school specifically caters for children with special needs and there is a high level of influenza-related absenteeism this winter, contact your local Public Health Unit for advice.

Boarding schools

Boarders with influenza should isolate (keep away from others) until their symptoms resolve. If you have three or more boarders with influenza you can contact your local Public Health Unit for advice.

Further information and resources

Current as at: Tuesday 16 April 2024
Contact page owner: Communicable Diseases