Welcome back to this week’s edition of BANANA Bites, where we answer YOUR questions about parenting and early childhood education. Today we’re addressing the very important subject of measles and how to prevent it from spreading to children. This is a must-read for parents and child care providers!
Dear BANANA Bites,
I run a family child care here in Oakland and I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to keep the kids in my program safe from the spread of measles. What are the best ways to do this and where can I find more information about this topic? Thanks in advance.
– Provider Who Wants Measles Prevention
We absolutely agree about the importance of measles prevention and are so happy to address this topic. According to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF), childhood diseases like measles can cause children pain and discomfort. These diseases can lead to doctor visits, hospitalization, and even death. The ACF recognizes immunizations as the best way to protect young children from 14 serious diseases, including measles. A recent announcement in conjunction with the California Department of Education, Early Education Support Division, notes, “Measles can be dangerous—especially for babies and young children. Measles spreads very easily, so it is important to protect against infection. To prevent measles, eligible children should be vaccinated with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The measles vaccine has been used for years, and it is safe and effective. The ACF’s Office of Head Start and Office of Child Care consider it critical that children in programs are vaccinated according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) immunization recommendations.”
Recommendations from the CDC can be accessed here. This document includes guidance for child care programs to follow state and local immunization requirements and also discusses what to do if a case of measles occurs in your program.
One of the most important contributions child care programs can make is to reach out to parents. The CDC has also provided sample materials and articles to share with parents in newsletters, web pages, or other publications.
· Immunization Protects Us All
· Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child
· Easy-to-read vaccination schedules in English and Spanish
Please share this information with friends and family members to help ensure all children are kept safe and healthy!
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