- Cytomegalovirus (CMV). Pregnant teachers can contract CMV from their students and pass it to their unborn babies. Congenital (present at birth) CMV is the leading viral cause of birth defects. Staff of childbearing age need to know the "importance of hand hygiene measures (especially handwashing and avoiding contact with urine, saliva, and nasal secretions) to lower the risk of CMV " (American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP] et al., Caring for Our Children, 2011).
- Cavity-causing germs.
- Respiratory infections including influenza and croup.
- Strep throat, tonsillitis, and scarlet fever.
- Mononucleosis, commonly known as the “kissing disease,” caused by the Epstein-Barr virus.
- Cold sores, caused by herpes simplex virus-1.
- Hand, foot, and mouth disease, caused by a strain of Coxsackie virus.
- Placemat, Side One: Placemat with tableware characters with space for your coloring artist's name (perfect for laminating and using as a table-setting reminder).
- Placemat, Side Two: Germ prevention tips and hand-washing instructions.
- Video: Short introduction of the tableware characters by Lisa Saunders, the parent representative of the Congenital Cytomegalovirus Foundation.
- Educational Coloring Book: "Grandma" reminds children when and why to wash their hands and speaks for Miss Cup to teach germ prevention. She stresses Mr. Knife's fear of the dish running away with the spoon to teach table-setting. For a free pdf version of Once Upon a Placemat: A Table Setting Tale, contact LisaSaunders42@
gmail.com or ask your library to carry a copy for you to borrow (copies also available on Amazon).
"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
"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.
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.”
The story was illustrated by Marianne Greiner of Bloomfield, New York.