Second-graders at Maurice W. Downing Primary School in Malverne got a visit from members of NYU Winthrop Hospital to discuss flu prevention on Oct. 25. Dr. Ranekka Dean, director of infection prevention at NYU Winthrop Hospital, met with students and taught them how to reduce the chances of spreading the flu while promoting good hygiene practices.
“Today was a great partnership for us to be able to go and work with NYU Winthrop,” said Downing School Principal Ed Tallon. “It’s very important — no matter what age you are — to be proactive in flu prevention. It’s coming near the flu season, and it really starts at this age level to spread the word about flu prevention, and not the germs.”
Dean demonstrated hygiene tips for keeping your hands clean such as washing them often, either with soap and water or alcohol-based hand gels, and provided each student with a personal container of hand sanitizer. She also provided each student with surgical masks and explained to them that during periods of high incidents of flu outbreak, hospital staff wears the masks to reduce spread of the flu.
Dean told the Herald that this was her first time that she took part in a demonstration for children, and that she was impressed with the knowledge they had on flu prevention.
“They were very engaged, and it was actually very refreshing,” Dean said. “It was a reinforcement just to make sure that they fully understand that message. Every season, we need to do that.”
Dean added that flu-prevention tips are important for children because communal settings such as schools are a prime location for the virus to spread. She hopes that through this program, students will continue to learn more ways to mitigate spreading the flu.
Children also sang several songs such as, “We Need to Cover our Sneeze,” as a constant reminder on how people can prevent spreading the flu.