Thursday, March 3, 2016

Free Tool Kit Teaches CMV Prevention, Table Setting. Includes Coloring Placemats/Video

Childcare workers and mothers of toddlers are at greater risk for contracting #1 viral cause of birth defects, congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Mystic, Conn.— Lisa Saunders, author of “Once Upon a Placemat: A Table Setting Tale,” created a free downloadable school program kit for parents and teachers to use to instruct children on table setting and germ prevention, particularly against diseases spread through saliva.

Disease spread through saliva by sharing dishes, drinks, etc., include cytomegalovirus (CMV). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), congenital (meaning present at birth) CMV causes one child to become disabled every hour. (See: 

"The lesson of how to set a table is valuable as this is part of encouraging a family to sit down and eat together—a main intervention in preventing obesity," said Alison Dvorak, MS, RDN, CDN, of Franklin, Connecticut.

"Once Upon a Placement is a clever way to get across an important message about prevention of infectious diseases. As a doctor, I recommend it to my young patients and their families. As a grandmother, I have shared it with my granddaughter." Gail J Demmler Harrison, MD, CMV Registry, CMV Research and CMV Clinic

Free downloadable program kit for Once Upon a Placemat: A Table Setting Tale” includes:


  1. Video of author Lisa Saunders introducing book, germ prevention and tableware characters at:


  1. Placemats with tableware characters and germ prevention tips at: (there are several placemat versions--two provide open space at top for organizations to insert their own logo/information before distributing).


The book, “Once Upon a Placemat: ATable Setting Tale,” can be borrowed from your library (if they don’t have it, your librarian can order it through their distributor, Baker & Taylor). The public can purchase the book through Amazon at:



“Once Upon a Placemat” is an expanded version of the fairytale Saunders told in her children’s novel, “Ride a Horse, Not an Elevator,” which is featured in the Cornell University 4-H “Horse Book in a Bucket” program.


About the author: Lisa Saunders is an award-winning writer living in Mystic, Connecticut, with her husband and hound. A graduate of Cornell University, she is the parent representative of the Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Foundation, and in 2015, was instrumental in helping Connecticut become one of the few states in the country to enact a law combating the leading viral cause of birth defects, congenital CMV.  Saunders said, “CMV is carried by a high percentage of apparently healthy toddlers. It is found in bodily fluids such as saliva and is of concern to women of childbearing age because the virus can lead to complications in their baby's development if they are pregnant while infected.”


Co-author of "Once Upon a Placemat," Jackie Tortora, is a digital strategist living with her husband and their young son in Vienna, Virginia. It was illustrated by Marianne Greiner of Bloomfield, New York.  


For more information, visit or write to



Which women are most at risk for contracting CMV? 

Study: Cytomegalovirus as an occupational risk in daycare educators

 Data from a variety of day care center studies indicate that between 44 to 100% of two year olds at a single given time were shedding CMV.  Day-care workers are at greater risk.

"75% of women with a primary infection during pregnancy acquire CMV from their own child under two years of age,” said Stuart Adler, M.D.

When educating daycare providers, it would be helpful if there was a flyer posted on the child care center to remind their clients of the precautions to take with their own toddlers.

Utah, the first state to require congenital CMV prevention education, puts out this brochure for healthcare providers:

No comments: