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Most common childhood respiratory illnesses like flu, colds, cough and sore throats are caused by viruses. Getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids, following proper hand hygiene and keeping children home until they feel better can reduce the spread of these infections to other children. Antibiotics are usually not needed.

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, not those caused by viruses. Unnecessary use of antibiotics increases the risk of getting an antibiotic resistant infection, making it harder to treat. Therefore, judicious use of antibiotics is the key to addressing this major public health problem. Parents, healthcare providers and child care center providers can work together to prevent childhood illnesses. Efforts such as proper hand washing, keeping the environment clean and being up-to-date on vaccines, including flu vaccine, are effective ways to prevent common illnesses, which reduces need for treatment. This approach also contributes to community-based efforts to promote judicious use of antibiotics.

Our aims are to:

  1. Provide practical information to assist in prevention of common childhood illnesses in childcare settings.
  2. Promote appropriate use of antibiotics


Our program is based on best practices developed in studies conducted in Pennsylvania as well as other places.

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