Monday, July 24, 2017

Back to School: Share a Meal--Not the Germs! Free Table-Setting Tool Kit Teaches How

Back to School: Share a Meal--Not the Germs! 

Free Table-Setting Tool Kit Teaches How

Teachers/caregivers of young children are at greater risk for contracting diseases as are the children in their care: "Children cared for at daycare or in preschool education exhibit a two to three times greater risk of acquiring infections...control measures are indispensable to the prevention and control of infectious diseases.(Nesti et al,, 2007)

Did you know there are many diseases spread through saliva? These include: 

  1. 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). 
  2. Cavity-causing germs.
  3. Respiratory infections including influenza and croup.
  4. Strep throat, tonsillitis, and scarlet fever.
  5. Mononucleosis, commonly known as the “kissing disease,” caused by the Epstein-Barr virus.
  6. Cold sores, caused by herpes simplex virus-1.
  7. Hand, foot, and mouth disease, caused by a strain of Coxsackie virus.

Teach Infection Control! 

Teachers/caregivers can share a meal with their students without sharing the germs! Teach children the importance of handwashing and refraining from sharing cups and utensils with each other by downloading the free program kit created by Lisa Saunders, author of "The Danger of Spreading CMV: How We Can Protect Our Children" published by ChildCare Aware and the "color-me-in" fairytale, Once Upon a Placemat: A Table Setting Tale.  

FREE Teaching Tool Kit includes:

  1. Placemat, Side OnePlacemat with tableware characters with space for your coloring artist's name (perfect for laminating and using as a table-setting reminder). 
  2. Placemat, Side TwoGerm prevention tips and hand-washing instructions.
  3. Video: Short introduction of  the tableware characters by Lisa Saunders, the parent representative of the Congenital Cytomegalovirus Foundation. 
  4. 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 or ask your library to carry a copy for you to borrow (copies also available on Amazon). 

      Professional reviews:

      "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 inte
      rvention in preventing obesity," said Alison Dvorak, MS, RDN, CDN, of Franklin, Connecticut.


      Author's note:  “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 available on Amazon and was 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. 

      The story was illustrated by Marianne Greiner of Bloomfield, New York.  

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