Sioux Falls Daycares Take Steps To Fight Flu

As of last week, the state department of health says there were 480 confirmed cases of the the flu in South Dakota this season; two hundred more than the week before.

Just this past weekend a 2-year-old Sioux Falls girl died from Influenza A. This has daycares taking extra steps to help stop the spread of the flu.

At any given time, employees at Apple Tree North can be taking care of up to 200 children. With that many kids it can be a tall order to prevent them from getting sick.

Apple Tree Children’s Center North Director Lynn Peterson said, “The influenza seems to be hitting pretty hard right now.”

About three to four children at the 3rd Street and Sycamore Avenue location have had confirmed cases of the flu. Peterson says one of the first things they do is let other parents know.

“When it does happen we do post it for the parents so they can see that there are cases diagnosed so they can let their doctors know too,” said Peterson.

To help prevent the spread of the flu, Peterson says employees are constantly washing their hands and cleaning phones and door handles. When infants are constantly putting things in their mouths, toys are a top concern.

Peterson said, “We’re running them through the dishwasher where they’re getting that wash, rinse and sanitize process through.”

When kids do get sick, there are times when the daycare will send them home. Anytime they have a nasty cough that doesn’t seem to be going away, are throwing up,  have diarrhea or are running a temperature over 100, the child isn’t allowed to stay.

Peterson said, “When I see a parent coming in and a child looks sick or the child was sick yesterday talking to the parents and seeing “You know,  ‘How is it going?’, ‘Did you go see a doctor yesterday?’, ‘What did the doctor say?'”

A lot of questions have to be answered before they are allowed to come back. In order for A child to be allowed back at daycare, they have to be fever-free for 24 hours without medication.