Prof Explores Influenza Pandemic School Strategies
H1N1 preparedness in schools is the topic of an upcoming research article co-written by Mary Jane Tremethick (HPER), NMU student Kristen Wassink and recent NMU graduate Nicole Weber. The trio collaborated with Maureen Johnson, an Indiana State University professor. Their report provides an overview of the virus, methods for stopping the spread of infection and classroom interventions for preschool-12 students that can be used to address pandemic influenza.
The article highlights various teacher resources available: in-class lesson plans with downloadable worksheets, stickers and other materials; posters that highlight proper hygiene to stop the spread of the virus; creative learning opportunities such as educational cartoon contests and students writing skits or songs; and local health department guest speakers or field trips. It also addresses the critical role parents play in reinforcing health-promotion behaviors in the home and keeping their children out of school if they demonstrate influenza symptoms.
“Parents and teachers have an important role in preventing the spread of communicable disease," said Tremethick. "These resources provide parents and teachers with engaging activities for children and adolescents to learn about H1N1 and how to decrease the risk of contracting H1N1 influenza.”
The article was completed this summer and will appear in an upcoming publication of the Michigan Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.