BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Health experts are warning everybody - especially parents - about a potentially severe flu season.
According to the Center for Disease Control, there have been twice as many pediatric flu deaths so far this year nationwide than at this same time last year.
Child Care Resource Network, a non-profit organization that helps families find child care, works to educate childcare providers on how to keep children safe.
"It is very wise to make sure that everything in the program, in that classroom including door handles, and the tops of tables, the backs of chairs, anything that they are putting their hands on should be clean," said Kimberly Suminski, CEO of the Child Care Resource Network.
The organization also recommends if a child has a stuffed animal or blanket they use at nap time, those should be washed frequently.
Before sending a child to day care, parents should check if they have a fever or cough that's getting worse. If they do, they should stay home.
Make sure your child is washing their hands thoroughly with soap before and after eating, and after coughing or a sneezing.
"Sometimes we even say sing Happy Birthday while you're washing your hands, or the ABC's because many times young children think that just putting their hand under water is enough," said Suminski.
And health experts are strongly recommending children get their flu shot.
"The flu will affect everybody. You can be a perfectly healthy person or have chronic illnesses and it can affect you," said Dr. Stephen Turkovich, chief medical officer at Oishei Children's Hospital. "Which is why it's really important for everybody to get their flu shot, babies included older than six months of age."
Oishei Children's Hospital said it's had 500 patients come through its emergency room who tested positive for the flu.